Belgian Fries, or, Pommes Frites
Say NO to Soggy Fries
If you're a little like me, your tired getting fries that are either immediately soggy, or get soggy real soon after they're served. Belgian style, Double Fried Fries is the answer. Read on, then make them once, and I know that you'll be as sold as I am about these.
I've been seeing references to double frying fries for a long time now. Then, I saw a show that talked about Belgian Fries. It seems that they're the ones who invented the fry, not the French. When our soldiers were there during WW II, they were eating them in France, and brought back the concept as a French Fry. Well, it sounds logical anyway.
Never having had fries cooked this way I have been curious to find if double frying really does make them better. and, if it's worth the effort.
Well, the fries were great, and it IS worth the effort. There is a crisp outside with a nice creamy soft texture inside. The other advantage, other than there crispiness, comes into play when you want to serve these to a group. You can prep these, the 1st fry, early on, then just before serving, fry them the second time. Because they stay crisp longer, you can easily serve 3 batches of fries at a time.
The picture shows the result of 1 large potato.
1. Put oil in a pot and heat, over high heat, to 360 degrees. Be sure to use a high sided pot, and only fill it half way. You don't want to fill it all the way up because the potatoes will displace oil when you place them in the pot, and you definitely don't want hot oil spilling over the sides.
2. While the oil is cooking, cut the fries into 3/8" to 1/2" strips. If you cut them thinner, they'll end up too crunchy. As the fries are cut, place them in a bowl of salted water. Placing them in water will remove the surface starch and make for a more even color on the outside of the fry.
3. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes, then take them out and dry them well. They must be dried because any water left on them will spit and splatter when it touches the hot oil.
4. After they're dried, place them in the pan of hot oil being careful not to crowd them. I usually fry 1 potatoes worth of fries at a time in my 10" black frying pan. Stir them up a bit while they're frying to keep them from sticking together. Notice that the fries have bunched themselves up in the center of the pan during this process. You can also see the steam that's coming out of them.
Fry for a total of 5 - 7 minutes only. They should be just barely start getting some color. Take them out and place in a pan with a rack in it to drain.
5. After this 1st frying, they must be held for at least 30 minutes, but can be held for up to 2 hours before going on to the next step. During this time, the fries are hot, and the inside is continuing to cook. The left side of the picture shows the "spider" that I use to take the fries out of the oil. The picture also shows that I cooked these a little too long, and the fries were extremely crunchy.
6. After this 1st frying, they must be held for at least 30 minutes, but can be held for up to 2 hours before going on to the next step. During this time, the fries are hot, and the inside is continuing to cook. The left side of the picture shows the "spider" that I use to take the fries out of the oil. The picture also shows that I cooked these a little too long, and the fries were extremely crunchy.
7. Take them out as they're done, and place back on the rack in a pan. Season immediately with salt, and a little dusting of your favorite variety of Butt Kickin' Blacken.
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