Hot!Fresh Potato French Fries

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Re:Fresh Potato French Fries 2014/02/25 15:26:30 (permalink)
Thanks for your perspective ZD.
I have switched to wholesale quantity russets. I noticed there are different qualities and sizes. I bought a cheap bag of #2 Russets. They were monsters. I had to cut most of them in half and trim some sides to use them in the cutter.
I purchased a cutter from Ebay for $50. Its a New Star brand. The Volrath one at the restaurant wholesaler costs $230!
Anyway, the #1's were smaller. I might buy them next to see if there are less dark spots. But hey, when it comes to peeling, who doesn't like a nice big potato to hold on to! Super easy.
I have mixed feelings on peeling. Anyone have strong feelings one way or another?
I like the uniform looks of peeled, but it seems like a time waster and mess generator.
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Re:Fresh Potato French Fries 2014/02/25 16:49:33 (permalink)
I personally prefer to eat skin-on fries but I can't speak for the other millions of people who eat fries
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Re:Fresh Potato French Fries 2014/03/30 01:07:37 (permalink)
Latest method is such:
Cut fries soaked in a brine. I cut about 15 pounds into a 5 gallon bucket and rinse the cuts once, then fill up again with fresh water. I add 1 c salt and 1 c vinegar. Cut fries sit overnight and they have a slightly lip aged look to them. I par cook them in 350 degree oil (3.5 mins) and then cool them and finish fry them in 350 degree oil (~4 mins).
Noticeable variables are size of the fryer I use. If I use a fryer that takes 40-50# of oil, then oil retains temp better and I would probably reduce par cook temp. In my 15# oil fryer, oil temp drops more significantly effectively lowering the overall par cook temp.
I tried a water par cook with one finish fry and I had mixed results. The water was treated with vinegar and salt. Once I had a very superior result. Crispy light colored outside and fluffy inside. However, most of the times I had problems with the potatoes sustaining their shape and texture prior to last fry. In the worse cases, they would virtually piece up in the oil. 
Anyone have input on brining or excessive soaking of cut fries?
I've been pretty pleased with the 2x oil fry at 350 so far, whether messing with the soak water or not. But I do notice a positive difference when the water is acidified and salted. 
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Re:Fresh Potato French Fries 2014/03/30 11:29:14 (permalink)
DWags541: Brining is done to put fluid and flavor into a product. I'm not sure that would work with a potato. The whole reason you soak the fries is to get as much starch as possible out of the potato. The more the potato is refreshed with clean water the better the product. Think of how potato chips are made, they use 100lbs of potatoes to get 10lbs of finished product. When your making french fries your not taking as much of the water out, your just cooking it slow, without getting any color or crispness to the product. What your looking for is " The cooked potato flavor" this is the flavor that you get when a lot of the water is taken out. Sugar is also a factor, aging is another factor. A roasted potato has twice as much sugar than a boiled potato. A fried potato has twice as much sugar and a roasted potato. All you should be looking for in deep frying is. Take into account " Time is Money" keep it as simple as possible.
Wash, soak, dry, Blanch, finish = take money, sell 1000's, buy Ocean Home. Live well, drink well, be happy..............
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Re:Fresh Potato French Fries 2014/03/31 20:03:01 (permalink)

Nobody mentioned potato conditioning. I'm a grower, not a cooker, but I have been at meetings where food science college professors tell how the spud is only the start. Pick the right variety, store it and condition it correctly. When you start to slice, 3/4 of the quality factors have already been set.

The color of the fry depends a lot on the sugar content of the spud, and the sugar content can vary with storage conditions. I am no pro, as I said, but I seem to remember that a week at about 55 to 60 degrees is good. You can't count on Sysco to do it for you because they sell potatoes for many uses.

I have not made it there yet, but a place in Portland Maine is said to make perfect fries from hand cut spuds, cooked in duck fat, while you watch. They say that on a summer Saturday, the line can be a half hour long. Folks want to copy them but don't want to do the work.

And.......fresh potatoes can be WORK. A late friend had a business selling fresh peeled potatoes to independent restaurants. His family didn't want it, and he couldn't sell the business. He offered it to me for free if I'd rent his building. The business paid minimum wage to 5 or 6 people, and he made a little more himself, for working like a dog. He charged more than for a frozen product, and less and less customers saw a reason not to go with frozen from Sysco.

Partner with a local grower to produce "Bintje" potatoes. They are hard to find here, except at farmer's markets, but are the spud of choice for street vendors in Europe. I remember that in blind fry taste tests, they beat the number 2 and 3 varieties, COMBINED. ( for mashers, a newer variety, Huckleberry Gold, blows away the competition) Bintjes are harder to grow, and yield a little less, but IMO if you try to compete with McDs, you will lose, and if your product can't get folks to pay a premium price, you are screwed.  Look up The Maine Potato Lady, on the web, for lots of info on varieties. She is not as sold on Bintje as some, though. Maybe they don't grow well in Maine.

I would start by talking to the food science folks at your local Land Grant university.

Momma Mia! "Duck Fat Fries" 
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Re: Fresh Potato French Fries 2014/07/21 14:42:41 (permalink)
One of the most eaten vegetable and with lots and lots of recipes. I liked this too. A little boring though. I fry them dipped in white flour and season them with and black pepper. :)
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