Cold-fry Frites

Cold-fry Frites

Serves 8-10


3 lbs. russet potatoes

6-8 cups peanut oil

1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste


Rinse potatoes, peel, rinse again, and cut lengthwise into roughly 3/8-inch fries.

Soak the potatoes in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes. Change the water when it becomes cloudy 2-3 times, and continue the soaking process until the water remains clear.

Drain the potatoes and wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to dry to speed up the cooking time and reduce splattering.

Add the potatoes and enough oil to cover them in a large cold Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil has reached a rolling boil, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp, but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 12-15 minutes.

Stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5-10 minutes longer.

Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to a paper towel-lined sheet pan. Season well with salt or you favorite seasonings, and serve immediately.

Notes: Use firm, fresh russet potatoes. Rinse and soak them well to rid them of starch. The less starch in the potatoes, the crispier the fries will be and less likely to stick together while cooking. Do not use other potatoes.

Make sure there is at least 2 inches of room from the top of the oil to the rim of the pot.

With varied quantities use proportionate quantities of oil and pot size, but make sure oil covers potatoes.

Do not use an aluminum pot; use only a heavy cast-iron or stainless steel deep pot.

After frying, let the oil cool and strain it through a sieve into containers. Store in the refrigerator or freezer and reuse up to five times. If there is any scent of rancidity, discard. Each time the oil is reused, add about 1 cup new oil to the mix.