UPDATE! (In which Sage talks about delicious home-made french fries)

I’m back!  So my fries are fried and eaten and I’m here to report.  For those of you who haven’t perused Kenji’s recipe the gist is this:

Parboil fry-cut potatoes in salted, vinegared water.  Let cool.  Deep-fry briefly.  Cool.  Freeze.  Fry again and salt.  The particulars are important however, as I learned.

I did my best to follow the directions accurately but was jinxed a bit by using different kitchen equipment.  Despite accurate timing my fries were over-boiled so a good portion fell apart and the ones that survived were a little over-cooked.  Not a big deal; I didn’t want a mountain of fries anyway and I now have the boiled potato bits saved to use in boxty or crab cakes or fritters.

I had further trouble with my frying set-up.  I was frying in batches, and my first batch was too large for the pot and oil volume I was using.  The oil bubbled up way more than I had anticipated and overflowed everywhere.  I spent 15 minutes cleaning up and feeling a wee bit paranoid about grease fires.  I subsequently fried in smaller batches.

I also found that my oil didn’t reduce in temperature as much as Kenji’s did during frying.  I followed his time guideline for the first frying which resulted in fries that looked the correct colour for McDonald’s but were still under-cooked.  Inevitably, the second fry added a lot more colour.  I experimented and found that with my set-up 90 seconds was about right for ideal fry texture.  This was significantly shorter than the recommended 3 1/2 minutes.

The finished fries were significantly darker than McD’s and a bit softer in the middle.  The consensus in our house was that they were awesome.  Nice and crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy inside, with an authentic McDonald’s flavour.

The beauty if this recipe (if you’re into eating fries at home) is that correctly managed it’s not that much work for an excellent result.  You can pre-make a large batch and freeze it, allowing you to pull out a few fries for a quick fry whenever it suits you.

I commend Kenji for getting such picture perfect results.  But as I’ve discovered today, even botching the recipe can yield excellent fries.

So, thanks for bearing with me today!  I botched my blog schedule and my fries, but the fries turned out and hopefully the blog did too.

~ Sage

Hello Everybody!

Somehow I got my days mixed up and thought fry day was tomorrow.  Fortunately I was fry-making last night.  Unfortunately it’s a two-day recipe.

I was inspired to take fry day after reading a fantastic blog on Serious Eats by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, one of my favourite food bloggers.  On Serious Eats he has a column called The Food Lab in which he uses a scientific approach to test techniques for getting the best possible results, and does it in an accessible and fun manner.  One memorable blog involved him testing out a standard camping cooler as a sous-vide cooker with impressive results.  He also co-writes the excellent blog The Good Eater Collaborative.

So, Kenji wrote a very entertaining blog breaking down the process of re-creating McDonald’s style french fries.  He also posted the accompanying recipe.

Fortunately the hard work is done and tonight I just have to do a quick fry.  When I get home I’ll do that and post an update with the results.  In the meantime I highly recommend you read Kenji’s fry blog.  I hope you’ll find his work as inspiring as I do.