Is there anyone out there that doesn’t like the potato?
Especially when said potato is deep fried and then kissed with a light sprinkling of salt?
Honestly, I can’t think of one person I know that would turn down a french fry. Clearly, I know the right people!
Going into the weekend, I’ve had french fries on the brain almost the entire week and this is all Martha’s fault. I blame her. If it wasn’t for Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook, wherein lies a very clear and thorough guide on how to make a good ol’ honest-to-goodness French fry, I would be thinking about other things.
Such as … opening my mail. Or … buying a new coffee table. Or … whether we need a layer of top soil in the garden. Or … ah, who am I kidding?!
I’d be thinking about food in some form or other and the food of choice this week just happens to be one of the most perfect things in the world: the French fry.
I love fries. Love’em! Growing up, we always had fried potatoes but Mama Cream Puff would cut them into cubes for us (which I also love). And unlike a true French fry, she would fry the potatoes once until deeply golden.
The proper French fry, as Martha so capably demonstrates in her book, is fried twice. It is fried once at a low temperature to cook the inside of the potato (this is called blanching). It is cooked a second time at a considerably higher temperature to crisp up the outside of the potato until a glorious goldenness is achieved.
From that point forward, the French fry becomes the canvas upon which ever person can paint whatever they wish. Some people like to paint the French fry with lots of ketchup. Some people use malt vinegar as their medium. Some people (me!) choose to express themselves with sea salt and rosemary. It doesn’t really matter. Point being, French fries are pretty much awesomeness in every sense of the word.
I would use the same word to describe Martha’s book. No use beating around the bush. It’s good. As some of you may know I sometimes have had issues with some of the recipes in Martha’s magazine. Visually they are promising but often, the end result is just a tad disappointing. But no disappointment with this book.
It is exactly what it promises to be. An excellent manual on how to cook everything. Cream Puff recommends it highly.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some French fries to fry and a masterpiece to follow.
Here’s a photo diary of my French fry adventure:
I used Yukon Gold potatoes.
While I do own a mandoline, I decided to cut the potatoes into fries with a knife.
For the blanching of the potatoes, I heated my oil to 300 degrees F.
I cooked them for about 4 minutes before removing them to a paper-towel lined tray to drain.
I let the oil temperature come up to 350 degrees F. for the second frying.
I cooked the potatoes for about 2 minutes in the hot oil. About 30 seconds before they were done, I threw in a sprig of rosemary. I drained the potatoes on paper towels and immediately sprinkled them very liberally with lots of sea salt (there is nothing worse than an underseasoned potato!).
I ate them all. All of them.