Yes, my friends, you read that right … truffled french fries!
I have a penchant for really good french fries … hand-cut, made-with-love, ain’t-nothing-soggy-about-them french fries. Said fries are often hard to come by, and when they’re good, they’re really good. But when they’re bad … oh, let’s not even go there.
Most agree that the keys to perfect french fries, ie, “potato chip crispy” on the outside and “mashed potato creamy” in the center, include 1) soaking the cut potatoes before frying, 2) proper potato selection, and 3) choosing the right oil to fry in. Serious Eats sums it up when they say:
“Russets or baking potatoes are the best, whereas waxy potatoes (such as Red Bliss or new potatoes) simply won’t do. Soaking is key—this removes the starch, keeps the potatoes from sticking together, and eliminates the sugars that prevent the potatoes from achieving maximum crispness. As far as oils go, peanut oil is the best for deep frying.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself (hence the quote from Serious Eats).
Now, The Chef and I rarely fry things at home, but when we do, the result is always delicious (did you see the shrimp and vegetable tempura we made?) … and these fries were no exception. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, perfectly salty, with a subtle hint of truffle, I will happily spend the time it takes to make these perfect french fries again.
As I said, it does takes time to make these so plan ahead as you’ll need to prep the fries one day before (trust me, it’s worth it). Oh, you’ll also need a deep-fry (or candy) thermometer, which is a great kitchen tool to have anyway so invest in a good one; you’ll use it more than you think you might.
Here’s to the perfect french fry! [Full recipe after photos.]
Truffled French Fries
- 4 large russet or baking potatoes
- Oil for deep frying, preferably peanut oil
- Truffle salt to taste
1. Wash and peel the potatoes; cut into 1/2 x 1/2 inch strips.
2. Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with cold running water until water becomes clear; cover with water by 1-inch and let sit for 15 minutes.
3. Drain the water from potatoes (it will look cloudy and “starchy”); recover potatoes with water by 1-inch and let sit for another 15 minutes.
4. Drain the potatoes once again, recover with water by 1-inch for a third time, and refridgerate overnight.
5. When ready to make your french fries, drain the potatoes and let dry thoroughly on paper towels.
6. Fill a large, deep-sided, heavy-bottomed pot with at least 4 inches of oil.
7. Using a deep fry thermometer to monitor temperature, heat oil to 250°F.
8. Working in small batches, making sure not to crowd the pan, fry potatoes for 4 to 5 minutes, remove with a wire skimmer, and let drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Note: the fries will be soft, but cooked through at this point.
9. Increase the heat of the oil to 325°F.
10. Working in small batches again, fry the potatoes for a second time, approximately 4 to 5 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
11. Remove potaotes with a wire skimmer and place in a newspaper-lined basket or dish. Sprinkle with truffle salt to taste.
12. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
P.S. I am very, very pleased to announce that Rhubarb and Honey was just nominated for a Best Food Blog award in the RiverFront Times 2012 Web Awards. Huge thanks to everyone who nominated me, and congrats to my fellow Best Food Blog award nominees as well!