Alright y’all, I know this post was supposed to be about making stuff from free food you get, but I’ve had a busy couple of weeks and I didn’t get to that post when I was supPOST to so now it’s POSTponed. LOL those are terrible puns.
Anywho I really am postponing that bit because I had to talk about POTATOES!! If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know that a lot of my recipes call for potatoes. They are cheap, they are easy, and they are probably Hubbins favorite food besides meat. He’s always up for some potatoes. So when Safeway had them for 97 CENTS for ten pounds, I bought 20 pounds, of course. And now we’ve been eating so many potatoes and honestly I’m a little over it. We’ve had Potato Leek Soup, and coming soon is colcannon. We also had loaded mashed potatoes and I’m sure we’ll have baked potatoes.. and potatoes and potatoes and potatoes. Ugh.
But LAST night Hubbins made dinner and he made deelishhhus home made french fries!!! And while it may seem daunting, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think. And you probably have all the tools you need on hand! We don’t have very many fancy gadgets, and we often start a recipe only to go “oops we need a…” and are left improvising. Nothing will beat my impromptu kitchen scale for ridiculousness, however.
Here’s what you need: a heavy duty pot or dutch oven (we use one like this), some sort of way to retrieve the fries, either tongs, a fancy skimmer, or just a simple sieve like we use, bowls, paper towels or thin kitchen towels, and a candy thermometer. If you want to get fancy you can use a french fry slicer, we actually have a really old one that I found for free at a garage sale. It does make the fries uniform and quicker to produce, but a knife works just as well. That’s it! Now the fun begins. This recipe comes from the book Real Irish Food, which has a lot of traditional Irish recipes written by an Irish guy. One of the best things about Ireland was the little chippy restaurants everywhere with fresh, hot, straight-from-the-neighbors-farm chips (fries for us Muricans). So presumably fresh, local, home-grown spuds would taste even better, but cheap .97 Safeway russets work just fine too.
First, prep your taters. Peel (or don’t, we don’t) and cut into thick fry shapes. Toss them into cold water while they wait.
Heat your oil. He suggests lard for the best flavor, but we use canola because it’s cheap and practical for us. Heat about 2 quarts to 330 degrees F. Do make sure your pan is deep enough that when you add the potatoes you don’t overflow, because it will bubble up. Not that I would know.
Dry your potatoes with a large towel, and then cook in a few batches for the first fry. You don’t want them to crowd. Or bubble over. Not that ours have ever bubbled over. Of course not. I’m just sayin. Add some potatoes carefully to the oil and fry for five minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking. Remove them and place in a bowl lined with paper (or regular towels when you start making fries and realize you don’t have paper towels) towels to drain. Continue with the rest of the potatoes. (I didn’t specify an amount of potatoes, make as many or as few as you like!!) You may need to wait between batches for the oil to heat back up to 330.
Once the first fry is done, raise the temp to 375 degrees F. Put the chips back in, in slightly larger batches this time, and fry an additional 1-2 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove and drain on fresh towels, then season with salt. Then eat them, noisily and with gusto. (That bit is optional)
The end! You can also make fried fish at the same time, or chicken strips, or we even tried fried pickles once. (strange but kinda good) Really anything you can think of, you can probably fry right in your kitchen. It isn’t too difficult, and fresh fries are soooo good! Try some tonight! (I’m making spaghetti though, because I need a break from all the potatoes.)