Being from Belgium, land of the best chocolates, pastries and French fries, I am frequently asked how to make those delectable cakes, tarts and petit fours.
I tell everyone the same thing … I have no idea. When baking skills were handed out, I was not exactly in the front row. In fact, I think I wasn’t even in the room.
As for making the perfect French fries, there I can help you out.
To make good fries, it’s vital that you start off with a good potato. Finding the right potato can take a while. You might think that all potatoes are suitable for French fries, but nothing is further from the truth. And not only does the potato have to be the right kind, it has to be rock hard. If the potato is slightly soft, it cannot produce a good fry.
Once the potatoes are peeled, place them in cold water. The colder the better and leave them there for about an hour.
Next, take a clean towel and thoroughly dry the potatoes. Place the towel on the kitchen counter and cut the potatoes into thick slices, about the size of a finger. Then cut the slices into fries, also about a finger thick.
When you’re done, work the towel over the fries so that they’re as dry as possible. Next place the fries in a pot and cover them with the towel.
In a French fries cooker pour about a liter of oil. This can be sunflower oil or vegetable oil and heat it up to maximum heat. If you have an electric cooker a light will tell you when the oil is ready. If you have a stovetop cooker, drop one fry in the oil and when it sizzles the oil is ready.
Place the raw fries in the oil and turn down the heat. After a few minutes, lift the fries out of the oil, leave them to cool for about one minute and then place them back in the oil.
When the fries are golden brown, lift them out of the cooker and shake off excess oil. Place kitchen paper on a serving tray and pour the fries on the tray. The kitchen paper will absorb any remaining oil.
Lightly sprinkle with salt. Serve plain, with mayonnaise, ketchup, or gravy.