I love french fries. And it’s not like I really need to be eating any more french fries; heaven knows I get plenty of them whenever I eat out. And yet, despite all of that, I will still make french fries at home! It usually happens because I want to make potatoes as a side dish, and mashed potatoes don’t really go with the meal, and neither do baked potatoes. But french fries are the perfect fit. In those cases, here are my tips for crunchy, delicious homemade french fries.
I rarely make these french fries as actually “fries.” I usually opt for little cubes because they are easy to eat, and easier to cook than a long fry. For the purposes of this post, I will show you both (so some of the pictures may be with cubes, some with fries, but the method is the same).
First of all, cut your raw potatoes. If you are doing fries, cut the potato into sticks, if making cubes, cut your sticks again into cubes. If you aren’t quite sure how to cut into sticks or cubes, here is a quick description:
1. Peel potato
2. Slice potato in half the long way
3. Lay potato on the just cut flat side. Cut into slices the width you want your fries/cubes.
4. Once you have lots of slices, turn the slices on the side and cut into strips.
5. If you are making cubes, cut each strip by the width you originally cut the slice.
Once you have all your potatoes cut, put them on a microwave-safe plate. Cover tightly with cling wrap and microwave for about 5 minutes. The goal here is to cook them through.
Once it comes out of the microwave, the cling wrap may be a big bubble, but as it cools slightly, it will shrink wrap itself onto the potatoes. At this point you can refrigerate them and fry them up later. Or you can continue on with the recipe.
Heat up some oil (extra virgin olive oil tastes great, but I usually opt for plain old vegetable oil because it is cheaper). In the picture below, this is actually more oil than I usually use. You really only need the bottom of the pan to be well-coated. If there is not enough oil, you can always add more after the potatoes are in the pan. (This is not a tricky recipe) Once the oil is hot, add in your potatoes. At this point, you can pay very little attention to them and work on the rest of your dinner. The potatoes are already cooked by the microwave, so you don’t have to worry about raw insides. The goal is to get the outside really crispy, so you want to leave them alone in the pan a while. I didn’t time it, but I would say at least 5 minutes before you check to see if they are browning on the bottom. Fries are trickier to turn because they will fall apart if you mess with them too much in the pan. Cubes are much more forgiving. After the bottom browns, stir them so that they other sides can brown. Again, be patient and let them brown. Once they are browned and crispy to your liking, use a slotted spoon to place on a plate and salt immediately.
Taste for salt, and try not to eat half of them before everyone sits down to dinner!