Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect French Fries

Homemade French Fries…why even bother when it would be so much easier either to drive thru McDonald’s or grab a bag of frozen fries out of your freezer…the one that’s probably been hiding in there for the last couple of years at least…goal for today—clean out freezer!!!

Because we are talking about the deep frying cooking methods and potatoes, and of course the topic of French fries would eventually come up.

The perfect French fries are extra astonishingly crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside.

French fries are actually very easy to make ahead and store in your freezer that you may never buy another bag of frozen fries ever, ever again…

 

 


The Potatoes

Which potatoes?

  • Yukon Gold…that’s why we’re learning about making French fries while we are on the topic of Yukon Gold potatoes…go figure, right?
  • Choose the largest ones you can find.

Why are Yukon Gold potatoes better?

  • …because they are less starchy and will turn out much crispier than any other type of potato.

How many potatoes?

  • Figure on two potatoes per person.

How do I slice the potatoes?

  • Slice the potatoes into ½” thick sticks. The thinner you cut your fries, the crispier they will be.
  • Wash the potatoes.
  • Peeling them at this point is purely a matter of personal preference.

Soaking Your Potatoes

Soak the potato slices in cold water for at least one hour, perhaps even overnight. The longer, the better.

Soaking your potatoes removes the starch and will end up making your French fries extra crispy and keep them from sticking to each other when you are cooking them.

 

 

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Cooking Your French Fries

 

Most cooks and chefs agree that the best way to getting those perfectly crispy fries that you’re craving is to double fry your potatoes—first for five or six minutes at 300° to cook the middle of the potato, and then frying them a second time at 400° to cook the outside.

Using a deep-fat thermometer will help ensure that the oil is at the proper temperature before you start adding your potatoes to the water.

Drain the potatoes.. Pat them dry with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.

Be sure to use a pot that is large and tall enough—such as a tall 8-quart soup pot, to contain the oil without overflowing when the potatoes are slipped in.

Pour enough oil into the pan that it measures about 1-1/2″ deep.

Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 300.

Carefully drop small batches of potatoes to the hot oil. Frying too many French fries at once makes them less crispy.

The oil should bubble lightly.  The temperature of the oil will drop to about 260 F after the potatoes are added.

Gently stir the fries to ensure that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or stick to each other.  

Fry for about five minutes.

Remove from the oil using a pair of tongs or a slotted metal spoon.

At this point we’re only heating the potatoes, so don’t be disappointed if they’re not crisp yet.
Place the cooked potatoes on a paper towel lined plate.

 

Increase the heat to 400 degrees.

Fry a second time in batches about five more minutes, until they are crisp and golden-brown.

Remove them onto dry paper towels.
Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out.
Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Mr. Potato Head’s Canadian Friend

The Yukon Gold potato is Mr. Potato Head’s Canadian friend who was born at Ontario Agricultural College in the 1960’s and named after the “gold rush country” around the Yukon River.

  • Flesh…yellow to gold, firm, moist, and waxy
  • Shape…ound to oblong with a slightly flattened shape.
  • Size…medium to large in size
  • Skin…smooth, thin, with a gold to light brown xoloe…relatively eye free but speckled with many small, brown spots.
  • Taste…rich, buttery, and sweet with a creamy and tender consistency

 

 

 

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Buying Tips

Avoid potatoes that are soft, wrinkled, or blemished.

Choose potatoes that feel heavy and firm.

Do not buy potatoes that are contained in plastic bags. There is no way to really check them out until you buy them and take them home and it’s too late.

Do not buy potatoes that show even a hint of green. This means that the potatoes have been exposed to enough light that they may contain a mildly poisonous alkaloids that can cause an upset stomach. However, if your potatoes turn green after you get them home, peel off all traces of the colored flesh before cooking.

Do not store potatoes and onions together because they will release gases that interact and make each other spoil more quickly.

Store your potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark location away from light.  They will stay good up to two weeks. After two weeks they will have the starch will turn into sugar, and the potatoes will be unpleasantly sweet..

 

 

 

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Nutritional Value

Yukon Gold potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals…containing nearly twice as much vitamin C as a regular baking potato. Typically one Yukon Gold potato contains…

  • Calcium 2%
  • Calories 110
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Dietary Fibre 2 g (8%)
  • Fat 0 g
  • Iron 15%
  • Potassium 770 mg
  • Protein 3 g
  • Sodium 10 mg
  • Sugars 3 g
  • Total Carbs 26 g (9%)
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 50%

 

 

 

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Uses

Yukon Gold potatoes can be used in both dry and wet-heat cooking methods,

  • boiling
  • frying—both deep frying and pan frying
  • grilling
  • sautéeing
  • roasting
  • steaming

So in the next few posts, we will looking at how to make the perfect…

  • French fries
  • hash browns
  • mashed potatoes
  • potato salad
  • potatoes au gratin
Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Baked Potatoes

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Mr. Potato Head and His Friends

When you mention the word potato, most of us automatically think of McDonald’s French fries that have been fried in tons of oil or a great big baked potato stuffed with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, the kitchen sink, and so on and so forth.
Yeah, I do realize that these are bad for you….But potato chips that have been baked with one of the healthier cooking oils can actually be both good for you and a great treat,
(Note…Don’t worry, I do realize that deep frying is definitely not the healthiest way to make homemade potato chips, so eventually we are going to learn how to make them in both the microwave and the oven….)
Potatoes actually contain many nutrients and minerals —such as potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and  copper. A potato actually contains more potassium than a banana…half of the RDV of vitamin C…no fat, sodium, or cholesterol…
Potatoes contain very little to no fat.
One medium-sized, unadorned, skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving.
But for right now, let’s take a quick look at a few of the estimated two hundred varieties of potatoes sold in the United States…
These potatoes vary in texture and act differently when cooked. For example when you are making a pot of soup, your potato chunks will either remain intact, or disintegrate…depending on the type of starch and the amount of moisture in the flesh.not bless with too many ”
Because the result that you get depends on the amount of the starch contained in the potato, these varieties are typically broken down into three basic categories—:starchy, all-purpose and waxy.
In the next few posts we will be look at each of these different categories, but here are a few things to remember regardless which type of potato you are looking for…
Shopping…When you are shopping for potatoes, look for ones that are…
heavy
not green tinged
very firm
void of soft spots, cracks or cuts
without sprouts
Storing…Potatoes will last a few weeks when properly stored, but don’t refrigerate potatoes because this causes some of the starches to convert to sugars, giving them an odd flavor.
photo of pile of potatoes
Photo by Marco Antonio Victorino on Pexels.com