Obviously, when making French fries, the choice of the main ingredient, the potato, is important. To make French fries, the best varieties are the Monalisa and the Kennebec, among others. At the very least, you have to buy potatoes that are for frying and not the varieties that are better for cooking or stewing.
To prepare the fries, peel the potatoes and cut them into slices approximately 1 cm thick. Cut each slice into sticks 1 cm wide and about 5 long and we continue with all the slices until we have the potatoes ready for the next phase.
Soaking, yes or no?
Once the potatoes are chopped, we recommend soaking them in a deep plate. This way we prevent them from turning brown as a result of oxidation, and also, we remove part of the starch that the potatoes have, thus preventing them from sticking to each other when they are fried.
Soaking the french fries before frying them is optional but it seems appropriate to me, limiting the soak to about 15 minutes, which are enough to eliminate most of the starch and that we take advantage of to prepare the pans, the oil, etc.
When do we add the salt?
Although it is always better to leave the potatoes a bit bland and add the salt at the end when they are already fried and crisp, I prefer to lightly sprinkle the potatoes after soaking them with a little fine salt. After mixing well by stirring the potatoes with our hands, we proceed to fry them with the technique that we will indicate below.
Once fried, we taste a potato and sprinkle more or less salt on the potatoes depending on how they have been. Usually it will be enough to add a pinch on the finished potatoes.
Oil for frying What kind do I use?
For my part, I am a fan of extra virgin olive oil And at home it is the one that I also use for high-temperature frying, such as that required for potatoes. However, some people prefer to use sunflower oil for this preparation, so that the aromas of the olive oil do not pass to the potatoes.
I choose extra virgin olive oil because it seems to me that improves the taste of French fries, compared to other oils that effectively achieve a good frying but without adding flavor. I leave it to your choice.
Frying in two times at two temperatures
To fry the potatoes well, you need two pansOne for the first part of the process in which we will fry the potato sticks at 140º for about 7 or 8 minutes, and another for the second phase, in which we will brown and crisp the potatoes by frying them at 190º for about five more minutes.
If you want do this in electric fryerYou can fry the potatoes over low heat, remove the basket from the fryer, letting the oil drain, and while setting the thermostat to the maximum, submerging the potatoes as soon as the oil reaches a temperature of 190º to get the potatoes to brown well.
Some people recommend an intermediate phase between the two frying, in which the pre-fried potatoes are put in the freezer for about 30 minutes to later finish them in the frying at high temperature. (It can be done but in my opinion, the difference is not so noticeable, being enough a rest of about 10 minutes between one fry and another to get some impressive fries).
The temperature shockWhen putting the potatoes in the second pan, it makes the potatoes, in addition to being crunchy, somewhat cracked on the outside, which increases the sensation of crunchiness. Inside, they are still soft, like candied, thanks to their passage through the first pan.
Drained from the potatoes
French fries keep heat very well. That is why there is no problem in letting them rest on absorbent kitchen paper to remove excess oil that may have retained. Anyway, with this technique, in the final frying at high temperature or “deep fry“, potatoes absorb less oil than if it is done progressively by raising the heat.