The Secret to Crisp, Homemade French Fries
Step One: Prep
Making great fries isn't tough. It just requires a little bit of forethought and some practice. The first step is easy: Grab a five-pound bag of Russet Burbank potatoes, or if you like, you can go with something like a large red potatoes. The Russets, however, have that smooth, almost mashed flavor most of us have come to know in a French fry. Look for tight skins with minimal "eyes."
|Use a soft-bristled brush to clean your potatoes before cutting them.|
Now it's time to slice. Make sure you have a good cutting board and a very sharp knife -- dull knives are dangerous with dense root vegetables like potatoes because you have to press harder to slice through the flesh, increasing the chances you may cut yourself. Now grab one of your cleaned potatoes and slice it parallel to its length into quarter-inch rounds. Be careful when you get to the last bit that you don't cut yourself. Now turn each round flat on the cutting board and slice them into quarter-inch strips. It's important that you make each fry as even in shape and dimension as possible so that they cook more evenly. But if you get a few big or small ones, don't freak out.
Step Two: Soak
|Don't rush to cut the potatoes. Take it slow, and make even slices.|
Fill your container with water so that the potatoes are covered thoroughly. A large Gladware tub works great, though any vessel you can fill with water will do fine. Place the container in your refrigerator to soak for at least eight hours. This will give the water ample time to do its thing. I would even suggest changing the water once in the middle of the
|Soaking removes excess starch that can lead to soggy fries.|
Tomorrow: The fry process and how to really create a crisp fry with a smooth, buttery interior.