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Recipe

Cold-Fry Frites

By Patricia Wells From Moveable Feast Season 5, Ep.4

Servings: 6 to 12

One pot, one cooking session, no blanching, no double frying, no electric deep-fat fryer, no thermometer.  Best of all, you end up with fries with a moist, creamy interior, an intense potato flavor, and a perfectly crisp, golden, non-oily exterior that sends all of us into ecstasy.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. russet potatoes
  • 3 qt. sunflower, vegetable, or canola oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed

Preparation

  • Rinse the potatoes, peel, and rinse again. Cut each potato lengthwise into disks about 3/8-inch-thick, then cut these disks lengthwise into sticks about 3/8-inch-thick. (Precision is not essential here: I love the tiny, crunchy, almost-burned bits that emerge from the fryer.)
  • Soak the potatoes in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes, changing the water when it becomes cloudy, until the water remains clear (at least three times). Drain the potatoes and put them in a single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry with additional paper towels.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a 7 qt. Dutch oven and set it on the stove. Pour the oil over the potatoes. Do not cover the pot. Set the heat to high, and stirring the potatoes gently with a metal spoon to distribute and prevent sticking, bring the oil to a boil.  (The oil should move from a peppy simmer to a boil in 7 to 9 minutes.) When the oil starts to boil, set a timer for 17 minutes. Stir the potatoes very gently every 3 to 4 minutes and lower the heat to medium, if necessary to keep the oil from boiling over the pot.
  • After 17 minutes, the potatoes should be slightly golden. Continue to cook for 4 minutes, stirring gently. Resist the urge to remove them from the oil too soon. When the fries are a deep golden brown, taste one to make sure they are crisp and firm on the outside with a creamy interior. Transfer the fries with the wire skimmer or slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined tray to drain. Season with salt and serve immediately.

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