Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recipe: Homemade French Fries

French fries are one of the greatest culinary inventions ever and are the key to the success of McDonald's restaurants.[1] But I don't usually feel like getting my french fries at a fast food joint, so I usually buy them frozen at the supermarket. But on the rare occasion that I don't have frozen french fries in the freezer, but I do have some potatoes, I resort to making my own. And it's fairly simple to do.

  • 2–3 russet potatoes [2]
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

Wash the potatoes (and peel them, if you so wish—I don't [3]). Cut them as desired (I prefer shoestring but even potato wedges fully cook with this method). Combine in a bowl with the oil and stir around so that the fries are evenly coated.

Even though you just covered the fries with oil, it's still a good idea to lightly coat your cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread the fries out on a cookie sheet, trying to keep them from overlapping as much as possible. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Turn the fries over and bake for an additional 20 minutes.[4][5]

At this point I like to turn on the broiler and let the fries crisp for a few minutes before taking them out. You have to watch them closely, though, because they start to burn suddenly. After removing them from the oven, allow them to cool for a few minutes and sprinkle with salt.

Om nom nom!


[1] See This is, in part, because they used to use beef tallow for their cooking oil. Now they use vegetable oil but supplement with (most likely) a beef flavoring.

[2] This is for two people. You should use 1–2 potatoes per person, depending on how much you think they'll consume.

[2] While the notion that all the nutrients in a potato are found in the skin is untrue, there are a lot of nutrients in the skins, including copper, dietary fiber (as well as resistant starch), iron, manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, as well as a variety of beneficial phytochemicals.

[3] Disclaimer: I live at high altitude. If you live at low altitude, you may need to adjust the cooking temperature and/or time in order to achieve satisfactory results.

[4] If you still have trouble with the fries sticking to the pan, you may want to turn them every ten minutes instead of every twenty.

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