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tekobo

Your Best Recipe for French Fries or Chips Please

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Fries, or chips as we call them here in the UK, are too important a side not to have their own special thread.  Please add your favourite recipe to this post.

I love chips.  We are told that Wallis Simpson said, "You can never be too rich or too thin".  A good friend and I were regular visitors to a French bistro in Leeds (Sous le Nez) and she always said "You can never be too rich or have too many chips".  I am going with her version. 

I grow potatoes and, every year,  I end up with more potatoes than we can eat before they all start to sprout.  The easy way I have found to process them is to turn them into chips and freeze them.  Rather than waste a life time triple and double frying chips every time I want a good chip I simply halt the process part way through, freeze and then pull them out of the freezer and fry when I need them.  This is my method:

Chip the potatoes.  If the skins are not too scabby I leave them on.

Briefly wash the chips in water to reduce starchiness.

Deep fry the chips at 130C in small batches for five minutes.  I use a half and half mix of goose fat and olive oil.  This stage is to cook the chip without colouring it.

If you wanted to eat them the same day then the next stages would be to cool the chips down in the fridge and then fry them at 170C  until cooked and coloured to your liking.  

What I do instead is lay the chips out to cool on paper laid on large baking trays after the 130C cook.  Then I remember to take the paper out from under the chips (essential) and put the trays into the freezer so that the chips freeze loose and flat.

When the chips are frozen I shake them off the trays and into vacuum bags which I seal loosely so that that chips are separate and can be shaken out when you need them.

In the old days I would have cooked the chips in the deep fat fryer after I retrieved them from the freezer.  Now I use my air fryer.  I hated the concept of an air fryer but now I embrace it.  It cooks (pre prepared) chips really well and you are never cooking in old fat.  

Having said all of the above, frozen chips or sweet potato fries from the supermarket cut out all of the work and taste fabulous cooked in a deep fat fryer or an air fryer.  You just need to try a few different brands until you find the one you like.

For extra information see this article by Felicity Cloake.  I like her and her books because she tries out a number of different recipes for a particular ingredient and guides you to her view of the "perfect" recipe.  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/may/20/how-to-fry-perfect-chips.  I don't parboil or triple fry my chips because I ended up with a fine matrix of potato that carried too much fat.  The Husband didn't like them and wouldn't eat them. 

I do a big chip pre-cook and freeze twice a year to match my harvests and it saves time for the rest of the year.  Here is one half of my current stash sitting in the freezer with my bottles of ketchup and BBQ sauce made from the tomato glut. 

 

IMG_8682.thumb.jpeg.0bfb809447959979bd38d3c50894e810.jpeg

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Wow @tekobo this is great information thank you. I have literally just planted my potatoes this week and look forward to my first tomatoes this spring. Thank you for laying this out so clearly 

one question I do have is what kind of freezer do you have that you can fit trays in it? I have an extra fridge/freezer in my garage but I don’t have space for trays. 

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12 minutes ago, Troble said:

one question I do have is what kind of freezer do you have that you can fit trays in it? I have an extra fridge/freezer in my garage but I don’t have space for trays. 

 

3 minutes ago, bgrant3406 said:

When Troble asked about Tekobo’s freezer, why did I immediately picture this?

I was just about to respond to Troble's question when I realised that I have no idea what type of freezer we have.  The Husband is in charge of procuring equipment.  I just ran back up the stairs, feeling a little ashamed about quite how large my freezer is, when I saw bgrant's message.  Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound...

The freezer is commercial, that much I know. No branding on the outside but a label on the inside says it is a Gemfrost.

It looks like this.

IMG_8684.thumb.jpeg.6f54bba196a45ceeaf38cc1c4c1b7712.jpeg

Those trays are two deep.  And full.  

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  The French Fry is so popular I think a war would break out if one country were to claim them as it's own. We taste fries in many places with the expectation of something wonderful is about to happen, and if they fall a bit short, our experience at that restaurant is slightly diminished. You know this post took me back, back when as a kid my best friend and I would often visit McDonalds. We'd arrive every weekend and place our orders for 6 Big Mac's and a large fry and shake, and then sit down to enjoy. When that was done, we'd return to the counter for 6 more, and another large fry, but for some reason we'd skip the shake. I know what your thinking about now,...what does this have to do with FF's. Well, let me explain, sitting their as all content could be, amongst all the debris, we'd always grab our bags to see if any fries were left hiding at the bottom. "Happiness" is finding a FF at the bottom of your bag, still today. So for this McDonald loyalist, I'd have to say the best fries I've had are right down the street. I'd sure love to give yours a go Tekebo! An amazing prep with an equally amazing set up.  If your wondering how could anyone put so much food down, well,.... it's something called the munchies, if you know how that works. Yes, as stated the venerable fry often a second thought and so taken for granted still holds us all powerfully in it's grasp. You know, I'm leaning a bit towards in how you shake the salt too,..seasoning is a part of the equation also. Gootta go Tekebo, all this 😜FF talk is making me hungry.  All from an American point of view.

Edited by Tyrus
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I was just about to respond to Troble's question when I realised that I have no idea what type of freezer we have.  The Husband is in charge of procuring equipment.  I just ran back up the stairs, feeling a little ashamed about quite how large my freezer is, when I saw bgrant's message.  Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound...
The freezer is commercial, that much I know. No branding on the outside but a label on the inside says it is a Gemfrost.
It looks like this.
IMG_8684.thumb.jpeg.6f54bba196a45ceeaf38cc1c4c1b7712.jpeg
Those trays are two deep.  And full.  

Freezer envy...it’s a real thing. Half of my team is in Manchester and just a couple weeks back gave us American’s some grief about the size of our refrigerators and that we tend to keep a second in the garage. And here is an example on the other side of the pond that puts most of us to shame.

Suppose I should have seen it coming. How else would you keep 3 KKs busy? Or better yet, keep what has kept the KKs busy.


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7 hours ago, tekobo said:

those trays are two deep.  And full.  

OMG! And I thought I had a problem! :hail:

The kitchen fridge has the pullout drawer freezer on the bottom, with a big sliding tray in the top. There's a medium sized chest freezer in the basement for the bulkier things (racks of ribs, pork butts, briskets, whole chickens, etc.) And, if needed, I can always use the top freezer section on my beer fridge for the overflow (typically after a CostCo and Trade Joes run!) 

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22 hours ago, tekobo said:

 

I was just about to respond to Troble's question when I realised that I have no idea what type of freezer we have.  The Husband is in charge of procuring equipment.  I just ran back up the stairs, feeling a little ashamed about quite how large my freezer is, when I saw bgrant's message.  Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound...

The freezer is commercial, that much I know. No branding on the outside but a label on the inside says it is a Gemfrost.

It looks like this.

IMG_8684.thumb.jpeg.6f54bba196a45ceeaf38cc1c4c1b7712.jpeg

Those trays are two deep.  And full.  

There's enough food in that freezer I could eat for a year! Are you trying to feed an army? B)

 

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23 hours ago, Troble said:

@bgrant3406 I was trying to come up with something witty about how if she’s got 3 KKs she must have a space for an industrial size freezer 

@ckreefhow are you preparing your chips? 

Mrs skreef is the chip chef. Sliced extra thin and deep fried. In the end don't forget the most important part - sprinkled with Australian chicken salt. 

We have an air fryer but deep fried is the only way to go for these. 

 

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3 hours ago, ckreef said:

There's enough food in that freezer I could eat for a year! Are you trying to feed an army? B)

We sorta feed an army.  We usually have two big parties a year, catering for 100 people each time.  We also cook and feed friends a lot.  None of that has happened this year and so I end up delivering ice cream to friends' houses in an effort to turn over our "stock".  The big bonus of having this freezer was that we never had any reason to raid the stores when lockdown hit.   As the husband said: without knowing it we had been practising for a pandemic for the last ten years.

23 hours ago, BOC said:

Freezer envy...it’s a real thing. Half of my team is in Manchester and just a couple weeks back gave us American’s some grief about the size of our refrigerators and that we tend to keep a second in the garage. And here is an example on the other side of the pond that puts most of us to shame.

You've outed me Brian.  Someone is going to be at my door soon, wanting to investigate an un-British addiction to excess refrigeration.  

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23 hours ago, Tyrus said:

"Happiness" is finding a FF at the bottom of your bag, still today. So for this McDonald loyalist, I'd have to say the best fries I've had are right down the street.

Returning to the topic of this thread...

Yes, @Tyrus the best fries are those salty ones stuck at the bottom of the bag.  It's its own special thing in a time and a place.  I wouldn't ever try to replicate that in a home fried chip.  

 

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1 hour ago, tony b said:

Good, but the black truffle salt that I just scored is even better on fries

It's great on Salmon Tony with a light hand. Glad it worked out, I thought a hit man might be paying a visit when you stated, at $28 for 3oz it better be good.

 

7 hours ago, tekobo said:

Returning to the topic of this thread...

I was a Boy Scout, always left out the "trustworthy" when saying the oath. A thousand apologies.

On 12/22/2020 at 10:03 AM, Tyrus said:

"Happiness" is finding a FF at the bottom of your bag

Happiness is finding the unexpected, something of a surprise and I'm sure yours are equal to the task

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