"Fritz … Frightz … Fry-tez…"
A few Sundays ago my husband and I offered to prepare a large meal for a "coming out" of sorts for my brother. (No, he's not gay.) We had bought Anne de la Forest's book Frites during Anthropologie's 40% off sale items promotion and we thought that one of the fry recipes in this book would perfectly compliment the ribs Justin would be making. Having never studied another language, my brother had no idea how to pronounce Frites nor did he understand what they actually were. I can only imagine what images the word "frites" was conjuring up in his mind. After all, the cover of this cookbook doesn't necessarily give it away…
Forest's book Frites has been one of the most surprisingly essential books I have ever owned on a particular subject, especially fries. Covering everything from how to peel a potato to which types of oil you should use and including recipes where she encourages you to allow the fries to reach a certain temperature and provides background information on that specific recipe all make this cookbook a practical and helpful guide to the art of fry making, which is notably more complicated than I was even aware of!
Justin used the Belgian Frites recipe for this particular family dinner which is currently my favorite. Even my step-grandmother, a supposed expert in cooking, came away from the dinner begging Justin for the recipe. What did he do different than her? What could she improve on? (Justin is trying very hard to obtain the greatest-grandson-that-never-was award. I do believe that so far he's exceeding her own blood grandchildren in nearly every way except for the fact that he hasn't produced any heirs yet. *sigh*)
Nevertheless, the following is the recipe we used. I highly encourage getting your hands on this book and trying some of the many other delicious recipes if you like the Belgian frites! You won't regret it!
(And by the way, in case you are wondering, the meal went wonderfully. News was shared and everyone was happy, which is exactly how all meals that offer frites should be!)
|not quite done…|
1 kg (2.2 lb) Bintje, Yukon Gold or Similar Potatoes
2 litres (8.5 cups) of cooking oil
1/2 tsp of table salt
1/2 tsp of sea salt crystals
• Peel and wash the potatoes.
• Cut them into medium-sized sticks with a kitchen knife or potato cutter.
• Wash them thoroughly by leaving them to soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Repeat this process several times to remove all of the starch (the water used for the last soak should remain clear) and then dry them carefully with a clean, dry cloth.
• Heat the fryer to 140ºC (284ºF), Place the dried potato pieces into the basket.
• Lower the basket into the fryer and cook for 7 minutes. Lift out the basket, shake well to toss and drain the frites and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
• Reheat the oil to 170ºC (338ºF) and cook a second time for no longer than 3 minutes. Your frites should be perfectly crisp.
• Remove the frites, shaking well to drain them. Then tip them into a large bowl lined with kitchen paper.
• Salt generously with table salt. Add a sprinkle of sea salt just before serving.
* Don't you love January break? Today's post brought to you by the phrase "on your plate".
** I'm not getting paid or compensated in any way for this review. All opinions are my own.