White-fleshed or yellow-fleshed? Seed oil or olive oil? And when to put salt? These are just some of the questions that those who love to prepare fries at home have asked themselves at least once in their life. If you've had a bad day and you want some relief, we can guarantee that fries are the comfort food for you and that making them perfect, even if you don't have a state-of-the-art deep fryer, can be easier than you think, as long as you don't make these mistakes.
1. Make no mistake when choosing potatoes
Did you know that there are dozens and dozens of different types of potatoes in the world? And you know, don't you, that not all potatoes are good for frying? For golden and crispy fries that keep cooking perfectly, we recommend using yellow-fleshed potatoes. The reason is simple; they contain less starch than the white-fleshed ones (those used for a nice purée) and for this reason they do not risk "falling apart" while crunching in the hot oil. And better not to use frozen fries, do we really need to say that?
2. Don't randomly cut
Cutting, in the kitchen, is not an opinion and it can never be left to chance, including fries. If you want to bring perfect fries to the table, you will have to cut them into "sticks" no thicker than half a centimeter or into cubes. Whatever shape you prefer, it is essential that your French fries are all the same in order to obtain a homogeneous cooking and browning.
3. Soaking, a fundamental step
A secret that just few people know and that the most hasty ones do not follow; leaving the potatoes, after cutting them, in very cold water for 30 minutes before cooking them is a fundamental step and this must not to be underestimated. The water in fact allows the potatoes to lose part of the starch (great enemy of perfect frying) and the cold guarantees a thermal shock with the boiling oil that will allow you to obtain crunchiness and browning. Always be careful to dab and dry fries with a sheet of absorbent paper before immersing them in the oil, however, otherwise the moisture will compromise cooking.
4. Which oil to choose?
Just like potatoes, not all oils are suitable for good frying. The ideal cooking temperature fluctuates between 160 degrees C and 180 degrees C and for this reason you need an oil that resists well to high temperatures; choose a peanut oil and don’t absolutely use the extra virgin olive oil alone, that anyway is very good for a rich salad. After having fried the chips and cooled the oil, do not throw away the used oil but dispose of it in the right way.
5. Cooking, a question of spacetime
Once you have brought (the abundant) oil to temperature, it's time to let your potatoes go to their fate, in the pan. This is the most important moment and in which you cannot be hasty; distribute and lay a few potatoes at a time, so that they do not overlap, so that they have space to be turned and fried evenly. The secret of the secrets is the double cooking; cook them at 160 degrees C for 5-6 minutes, then drain them with a slotted spoon and, after having brought the oil to 180 degrees C, plunge them back for 1 minute, you will not regret it.
6. Watch out for salt
Ok, you have done everything right, now do not lose the job done; once cooked, remove the fries from the pan with the help of a slotted spoon and place them on a sheet of absorbent paper (even the paper of the bread will be fine), then let them dry so that they will release excess oil. Only after a couple of minutes, when the fries have cooled slightly, you can salt them; in this way the fries will keep their crunchiness and they will not become sadly soggy.