I really wanted to make french fries. They are one of those foods I can't resist, so I figured it was about time I made them for myself. They are also the classic French accompaniment to mussels, so I had the perfect start. I was really worried that my house would smell like fried food for days, but it really wasn't that bad. These are double fried (YUM), and I covered the pot in between the fry sessions and I think that helped cut down on the odor. Also, this recipe comes mainly from Cooks Illustrated, that place where they test a thousand recipes until they find the best one. That was evident in this recipe, especially when I read the first sentence, "For those who like it, flavoring the oil with a few tablespoons of bacon grease adds a subtle, meaty flavor to the fries." YES PLEASE.
3 Idaho potatoes (for ample fries, I would do 1 potato per person)
2 Q. vegetable oil
4 T. bacon fat
Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes into french fries. It makes it so easy to have a mandolin and slice slice slice and you have a ton of fries! I just left the skins on to make it easier and I like the look. Soak the potatoes in ice water for at least thirty minutes. Drain the potatoes and pat dry. Heat the oil and bacon fat until it reaches 350 degrees. Fry the fries in small batches, for about 6 minutes, until they are light golden. Remove from the oil and set to drain on a paper bag, I just used one from the grocery. They fit perfectly in a cookie sheet and absorb all that extra grease. Make sure to get the oil back up to 350 before you fry the next batch. They need to sit for at least ten minutes, and up to two hours before their second fry. Get the oil back up to 350 and fry them again in small batches for just about a minute until they are dark golden. Remove and place on a new paper bag. Dust with salt and parsley and toss until coated.
These were so crispy and amazing. I was worried because when they came out the first time, they were limp and not at all crispy. I think something about the cooling to room temp and then re-frying makes them crisp up. And I can see serving these up with some dipping sauces and pretty much making a meal out of it. There will for sure be more homemade french fries served here - maybe next is some steak frites? Or one with truffle oil?? Or duck fat instead of bacon fat??? Endless options.