We had some family in town a few weeks ago and decided to make steak salads for everyone. Simple, easy meal that everyone enjoys. Being from Pittsburgh, there’s one thing that MUST go on a steak salad: french fries. Most people would go to the grocery store, buy a bag of frozen french fries, bake them and serve. They end up being crunchy for 30 seconds and then turn into limp, mushy fries.
I decided to make my own french fries. It’s way easier than you’d think. Here’s how I did it:
- 1 Gallon of peanut oil
- 4 baking/large potatoes
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut the potatoes into fries. It’s easier with a mandolin or fry cutter, but you can do it by hand (like I did). I cut the potatoes in half length wise and then cut them into two layers. I then cut them lengthwise into fries. Put the fries into the cold water. This will bring starches in the potatoes to the surface.
After all the potatoes are cut and soaked, drain the water and use a paper towel to dry off any excess water on the outside of the potatoes.
Remember: water + hot oil = BAD.
Fill a dutch oven or electric fryer with the oil and heat the oil to 320 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with a cooling rack on top for the cooked fries. Place some of the fries into the oil. You’ll need to do this in batches, being sure to not overcrowd the fries. They need room to move around.
They’ll turn generally stiff and not change in color much. Use a slotted spoon or a mesh spider to pull them out of the fryer and place them onto the cooling rack. Salt the fries. Repeat until all of the fries have been fried once.
They’ll end up looking like this:
As they cool, they’ll soften a bit and if you hold one straight out, it’ll look like this:
Turn the temperature on the oil up to 375. Line a bowl with paper towels. Put the fries back in (in batches) until they turn a nice golden brown. Pull them out and put them in the bowl. Salt the fries. Repeat until all of the fries are done.
They should look like this when done:
There’s no extra spice or coloring on those. That’s purely cooked and salted.