The secret recipe! (don’t tell anyone about it)
What do we need? Some fine potatoes (Bintje is the best, but in the US Yucon Gold or Russett will do fine), a sharp knife, a deep fryer, frying oil (any oil that can take the heat will do but will determine the taste of the fries), some kitchen paper and a bowl or an ovenplate.
Start by peeling the potatoes. Cut them in slices 1 cm (3/8″) thick and finally cut them into fries of 1 cm square .. Dry the fries well in paper or a towel before putting them into the oil.
Note: some people like to put them in cold water for a few minutes: this washes out much of the starch and tends to make them less sticky after the first frying and more crispy after the second.
Heat the oil in a hot frying pan or deep fryer to a temperature of 160°C (320°F). Put in a handfull of fries: not more at once because the oil will cool down too much. Fry for a few minutes (4-8 depending on the thickness and the kind of potatoes), stir regularly to prevent sticking. Put the fries into a large bowl with kitchenpaper (or even better on an ovenplate) and let them cool down and ‘sweat’ for at least 1/2 hour.
Finally heat to 190°C (375°F) and fry for 2 minutes until crispy and golden brown. This way the fries will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the way they should be!
Serve with a little salt (no vinegar pleeeeease) and some mayonaise.
A list of no-no’s
- Do not slice them too thin (see below). 1 cm square is the perfect dimension. Try to cut them rectangular: pointed ends tend to burn. You’ll need more patatoes of course.
- Do not put in too many fries at once: the oil will cool down and your fries will be too wacky and greasy.
- Do not fry them the first time until they become brown.
- Never put a lid on your frying pan: this makes your fries wacky.
- Never use frozen fries! Go to a McDonalds if you like them …
- Some (Belgian) people pointed out that the temperatures mentioned where too high and even forbidden for healthreasons. This is true for professional frying equipment, not for home frying equipment.
- In a lot of countries they make fries with unpeeled potatoes (USA, Ireland). There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s probably healthier that way, but in Belgium it’s never done that way. If you like, just do it: it’s a matter of taste.
- In other countries (France, McDonalds ) they tend to cut the fries way too thin This is not good: the thicker the fries, the less fat they absorbe and the tastier they are.