The most memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums EatingTours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider
Forum Themes:
Welcome !

 REAL french fries

Author Message
salindgren

  • Total Posts: 275
  • Joined: 11/18/2007
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
REAL french fries Mon, 01/21/08 4:43 PM (permalink)
Okay, lotta talk about Tater Tots, but anyone making true pommes frites at home? The twice fried item? I'm gonna start looking for a small basket, and some beef tallow. Oui.
-Scott Lindgren scottlindgren@netzero.net
 
#1
    SassyGritsAL

    • Total Posts: 1089
    • Joined: 10/27/2005
    • Location: Huntsville, AL
    RE: REAL french fries Tue, 01/22/08 11:19 AM (permalink)
    I do double fry my homemade fries but I use peanut oil. Where does one buy beef tallow and how do you order it (by the pound, does it come in a jar, etc.).

    I really would like to know.
     
    #2
      lleechef

      • Total Posts: 6208
      • Joined: 3/22/2003
      • Location: Gahanna, OH
      RE: REAL french fries Tue, 01/22/08 11:30 PM (permalink)
      My neighbor in France used 1/2 rendered pork fat and 1/2 oil and fried them twice. The first blanching at 350 degrees, then the second at 375 degrees to make them crispy. Best pommes frites I ever ate. I still make them at home the same way.
       
      #3
        salindgren

        • Total Posts: 275
        • Joined: 11/18/2007
        • Location: Los Angeles, CA
        RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 12:45 AM (permalink)
        Yeah, where do we get the nasty stuff? Mc Donald's used to fry in beef tallow. Does lard work? We sure have lots of that here in Los Angeles, but I think it mostly goes into refried beans. Someone needs to respond here about this lovely, unhealthy subject.
        -Scott Lindgren
         
        #4
          Twinwillow

          • Total Posts: 4895
          • Joined: 4/15/2006
          • Location: "Big D"
          RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 1:29 AM (permalink)
          quote:
          Originally posted by salindgren

          Yeah, where do we get the nasty stuff? Mc Donald's used to fry in beef tallow. Does lard work? We sure have lots of that here in Los Angeles, but I think it mostly goes into refried beans. Someone needs to respond here about this lovely, unhealthy subject.
          -Scott Lindgren


          Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but, isn't lard just rendered pork fat?
           
          #5
            californyguy

            • Total Posts: 513
            • Joined: 10/30/2002
            • Location: sacramenty , CA
            RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 2:00 AM (permalink)
            aren't we suppossed to call them Freedom Fries now or are we done being mad at the french?
             
            #6
              boyardee65

              • Total Posts: 1457
              • Joined: 8/28/2005
              • Location: Surprise, AZ
              RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 2:35 AM (permalink)
              Beef tallow is made by taking the back fat off a bull and rendering it down into usable oil. I find that rendering any and all fat from the bull still produces the same flavor. As I said on an earlier post about stocks; you pay for fat and bones, why not use them to your best advantage. I always save bacon fat and pork fat for pan frying potatoes. I don't save chicken fat as I don't make any Jewish delicacies like kreplach. I do however save chicken bones to make stock.

              Onto the post at hand. I love Belgian fries, also called Pomme Frits. I first had them in Germany many years ago. Those fries were the best thing I had ever put in my mouth at the time! Served with a hearty dollop of mayonnaise, they were the best! As I remember, they were also cooked in beef tallow or, lard if you prefer. I have never really liked American fries or "shoestring fries" as they are also called.
              They don't hold their heat or crunch for very long. They tend to get soggy too soon.

              David O.
               
              #7
                salindgren

                • Total Posts: 275
                • Joined: 11/18/2007
                • Location: Los Angeles, CA
                RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 5:54 AM (permalink)
                Alright, what we really need to look at I guess is what they are using in France, or Belgium, or whatever. The Wikipedia piece regarding beef tallow is very brief, although McDonald's is mentioned. The piece about lard is more thorough, and really quite interesting, I will do more research in this dept. It discusses un-hydrogenated lards, favored by some current chefs. It's evidently healthier than butter. Who knew? But there must be some good info out there about the REAL pommes frites method. Again, I don't really give a damn about health issues, we're all gonna get croaked from something, might as well enjoy the ride, oui? And as much as I seem to be satisfied with good old oven baked tater tots, or crinkle cut fries (again in the oven), before I die, I'd like to know just how good fries can really be, you know?
                Now, once we settle the cooking method question, what about the cutting? Anyone got a favorite tool for this? It can't be that big of a deal, once you have it down, right?
                Then, I think it's pretty clear that REAL french fries are always peeled, yes? I know that in the U.S., there is a tendency, perhaps more so in the South, toward what are called "Home Fries". These are sometimes just great, but they are NOT french fries. I like many kinds of potatoes, and I would not complain about hardly any (except mashed! hate them!), but I think there is a sort of unfortunate understanding about fries there, when we talk about "home fries". Here's why I say that: Everyone I've talked to about "street food" in Paris LOVES the Pommes Frites, and you know what? If a guy pushing a cart around on the street can make the best fries in the world, then why do we have all these Roadfood RESTAURANTS around, serving so-called "down-home", so-called "fries", when it's really just lazy, ignorant cooks tossing unpeeled chopped items into a couple tablespoons of some vegetable oil? Come on, how hard can this be??
                Well, I mean to find out. I want to become an EXPERT french fry guy. My fries will kick butt.
                I like learning how to do things better than Waffle House or Denny's. And it's not just about the $, or whatever. I have learned to cook a lot of stuff that I like so much more than at those dumps, I never even think of going back. I'll bet there are a lot of folks like me out there, too.
                Yours in "fried earth apple" heaven,
                -Scott Lindgren scottlindgren@netzero.net
                 
                #8
                  Jimeats

                  • Total Posts: 3175
                  • Joined: 8/15/2005
                  • Location: Ipswich Ma
                  RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 7:53 AM (permalink)
                  I don't know where your getting your information but a home fry is just that a home fry.
                  Not even close to a french fry. Home frys around here are typicaly served with breakfast, but can have other applications as well.
                  Want a great french fry? Try duck fat, the best. Chow Jim
                   
                  #9
                    BTB

                    • Total Posts: 207
                    • Joined: 7/25/2004
                    • Location: St. Petersburg, FL
                    RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 11:46 AM (permalink)
                    Scott, I recently saw a TV program on an "off" cable channel that showed how to make some great french fries. It was an American Test Kitchen program on Fish and Chips, and while the fish recipe is good, the chips -- modified slightly -- were the best tasting fries I had ever tried, and I've done the double fry method for some time. Highly suggest that you give it a try and see what you think.

                    Their recipe was using 3 lbs of russet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes), peeled, ends and sides squared off, and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch fries. I changed that to leaving the skin on and cutting the fries a little thinner (3/8's and 1/4's and otherwise irregular). They used 3 quarts peanut oil (or suggested canola or whatever one's choice is). I think peanut oil is the best, though.

                    The key, I think, to their incredibly successful technique is to first put the cut fries into a large microwaveable bowl, toss with 1/4 cup of oil thoroughly throughout the fries, and cover tightly with plastic wrap (but I used a microwave bowl that has a tight cover). Microwave the fries on high power until the potatoes are partially translucent and pliable but still offer a little resistance when pierced with the tip of a knife. Microwave time might vary depending upon quantity, but may range from 6 to 8 minutes in total. Halfway through, though, very carefully uncovered (being careful of the steam) and toss the potatoes around with an slotted spoon or other instrument. Carefully re-cover and continue microwaving. Afterwards, cautiously uncover and drain potatoes into a large strainer or colander over a sink. Rinse well under cold running water and thereafter spread potatoes onto paper towels (suggest in a cookie sheet or the like) and pat dry as best as you can. Let rest at room temperature anywhere from 10 minutes up until 1 hour.

                    When ready to continue on, add fries to hot oil, 325 to 350 degrees, stirring with a mesh or slotted spoon, until potatoes turn light golden and just slightly begin to brown on the ends or the corners (this about 6 to 8 minutes). Afterwards remove partially fried potatoes to paper bag or towels (I used a grate over a cookie sheet).

                    Heat the oil up high to 375 degrees (which is usually the highest a home fryer will go) and when ready for the final fry, add all the fries back into the oil and fry until golden brown and nicely crisp, which is usually just a 3 or 4 minute process at this point.

                    These were the best fries I have ever made and they tasted just like the great fries that I once had in Belgium. This is like a 3 step process instead of the 2 step double fry procedure that I've previously done before. And it differs from my original 2 step procedure in that now the first fry is the longer fry and the final fry is the shorter fry. With the original 2 step fry method that I previously followed, this was reversed. Anyway, I'm very happy with the technique and will continue to follow it unless I learn of a better way. Let me know what you think.
                     
                    #10
                      scbuzz

                      • Total Posts: 844
                      • Joined: 3/7/2003
                      • Location: Sumter, SC
                      RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 12:53 PM (permalink)
                      I had fresh hand cut fries fried in duck fat once in a place in Portland Maine named of all things ..... Duck Fat.

                      They were delicious.

                       
                      #11
                        ppezalla

                        RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 4:36 PM (permalink)
                        Hot Dougs on Roscoe in Chicago has fries cooked in duck fat on Fridays and Saturdays. There is always a line down the block on Saturday but it is worth the wait.
                         
                        #12
                          gofoodracer

                          • Total Posts: 27
                          • Joined: 1/22/2008
                          • Location: North Palm Beach, FL
                          RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 7:55 PM (permalink)
                          in my opinion, always fry twice and always use Mayo or Fritte Sauce (dutch), I also like malt vinegar.
                           
                          #13
                            salindgren

                            • Total Posts: 275
                            • Joined: 11/18/2007
                            • Location: Los Angeles, CA
                            RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 9:05 PM (permalink)
                            Okay, BTB is sweet to send along that suggestion, but I'm still interested in the "bad" shortening, or lard, or whatever. I checked at a local latino market, and they are selling lard @ $.79/lb. Can I use this for fries? Now, they are asking you to keep the stuff in the fridge, or freezer, so I must assume it's not hydrogenated, which I guess is a good thing. Si?
                            Now, I've never been big on mayo, BUT... I've had some kick-ass stuff called what is it, aioli? THAT is a great "dipping sauce". I need to learn more about that, too.
                            I like malt vinegar, too, but I wonder if folks in England and France ever use any ketchup?
                            -Scott Lindgren
                             
                            #14
                              salindgren

                              • Total Posts: 275
                              • Joined: 11/18/2007
                              • Location: Los Angeles, CA
                              RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/24/08 9:24 PM (permalink)
                              Oh, I forgot, BTB mentioned draining on a grate. See my post under "Mexican" about roasting chiles. I stumbled on an item ($1.46) at Home Depot, that is just plain made to order for that task. Fits right over a burner, and allows you to see what's happening, without getting on your knees at an oven broiler. It's a plain, simple aluminum deal that's meant to use in a pan with a paint roller. Some dummies think it's got toxic qualities, but come on, it's just aluminum. Jeez. Gimme a break.
                              Anyway... It might be interesting to try draining your fries, between dunks in the oil, on one of these suckers, oui? Now I'm going nuts here. I'm going to try cooking bacon on the thing! In the oven. The grease can be collected below, for later use. I know people like to cook bacon in the microwave, on paper towels, but even if you don't want the grease for other recipes, the bacon tends to stick to the paper... I hate that.
                              -Scott Lindgren scottlindgren@netzero.net
                               
                              #15
                                BTB

                                • Total Posts: 207
                                • Joined: 7/25/2004
                                • Location: St. Petersburg, FL
                                RE: REAL french fries Fri, 01/25/08 9:09 AM (permalink)
                                Regarding lard or the like to use for frying french fries, it would seem to be very impractical unless you're prepared for an incredibly messy and difficult clean up job afterwards, especially when the lard solidifies and gets hard in the fryer. If you use a good fryer that has the heating element immersed in the frying material (which to many of us is the best equipment in which to fry french fries), it will get all gunked and caked up with the lard when it cools off. Not my cup of tea, but maybe its worth it to others. Peanut oil is what most of the good french fry places use.

                                In any event, I saw this reference to America's Best French Fries on today's AOL CityGuide at http://cg.channel.aol.com/best-french-fries?deeplink_level0=6.
                                 
                                #16
                                  boyardee65

                                  • Total Posts: 1457
                                  • Joined: 8/28/2005
                                  • Location: Surprise, AZ
                                  RE: REAL french fries Thu, 02/28/08 9:50 PM (permalink)
                                  I'm not sorry to say that most home cooks would love to have the natural gas fryers that most restaurants have in their kitchens as they are more reliable as far as heat goes. Most of us are stuck with those crappy electric fryers. Lard will melt at about 200 degrees and thus is easy to pour and clean without too much mess and burns. I much prefer to cook frites in lard than any other medium.

                                  J.M.H.O. David O.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    BTB

                                    • Total Posts: 207
                                    • Joined: 7/25/2004
                                    • Location: St. Petersburg, FL
                                    RE: REAL french fries Fri, 02/29/08 9:14 AM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by boyardee65

                                    Lard will melt at about 200 degrees and thus is easy to pour and clean without too much mess and burns. I much prefer to cook frites in lard than any other medium.

                                    I have to say that sounds peculiar. Who would want to pour and clean out hot lard? I have trouble picturing it, but if you've been successful with it, so be it. None of the commercial places that I've encountered use lard to fry with as I would think they would say that it would be too messy to deal with.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      boyardee65

                                      • Total Posts: 1457
                                      • Joined: 8/28/2005
                                      • Location: Surprise, AZ
                                      RE: REAL french fries Fri, 02/29/08 8:44 PM (permalink)
                                      Only a few places that I know that use lard to cook their fries in. NONE of them are national chains. Most of them are Mexican places that fry with it and use it as an ingredient in the refried beans. I personally love frites cooked in lard. I also save all of my bacon fat and use it to cook home fries. MMM MMM Good to borrow a phrase. J.M.H.O.

                                      David O.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        tmiles

                                        • Total Posts: 1908
                                        • Joined: 10/1/2004
                                        • Location: Millbury, MA
                                        RE: REAL french fries Tue, 12/18/12 11:40 AM (permalink)
                                        The Maine Potato Lady has Bintjee potatoes (for planting) this year. Bintjee is the type used in Belgium for the signature fries, though according to something I saw in the Wall Street Journal, some time ago, even the Europeans are moving towards a longer Idaho type spud. I plan to try some Bintjee in my garden this next season, and give them to a favorite restaurant to fry up the European way. I will also get some other kinds from the Maine Potato Lady, but not to grow commercially. Customers will not pay extra for special potato varieties, at least in my experience. I'll grow ordinary (far cheaper seed potatoes) early red potatoes to sell with my corn. Salt potatoes and fresh sweet corn are great in the late summer, especially with boiled lobster, for a family get together.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          love2bake

                                          • Total Posts: 1269
                                          • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                          • Location: SFBay Area, CA
                                          RE: REAL french fries Tue, 12/18/12 11:54 AM (permalink)
                                          californyguy


                                          aren't we suppossed to call them Freedom Fries now or are we done being mad at the french?

                                          Yes, we've outgrown that name.  And in fact, the French just now withdrew the last of their troops from Afghanistan.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Twinwillow

                                            • Total Posts: 4895
                                            • Joined: 4/15/2006
                                            • Location: "Big D"
                                            RE: REAL french fries Tue, 12/18/12 12:22 PM (permalink)
                                            Salut aux Fran├žais!
                                             
                                            #22
                                              tmiles

                                              • Total Posts: 1908
                                              • Joined: 10/1/2004
                                              • Location: Millbury, MA
                                              RE: REAL french fries Tue, 01/22/13 10:57 AM (permalink)
                                              Darker or lighter???? The potato grower's trade press tries to keep growers up to date on what the market wants. Like any industry, there are lots of opinions. McDonalds in large part drives the market, because only "approved" varieties of spuds can be used to make McD fries.
                                               
                                              McD consumers like a light golden fry, yet in blind tests, consumers often prefer the darker, sweeter fries. "Darker" is usually the result of cooking a spud that is higher in sugar. Variety and storage conditions both work to vary sugar content.
                                               
                                              I note that most Roadfood type places, especially the ones with "hand cut" fries, go for the darker (and IMO better tasting) fries, while places that serve fries cooked from frozen serve the lighter color fries.
                                              <message edited by tmiles on Tue, 01/22/13 2:14 PM>
                                               
                                              #23
                                                HollyDolly

                                                • Total Posts: 1065
                                                • Joined: 1/18/2006
                                                • Location: Schertz, TX
                                                RE: REAL french fries Tue, 01/29/13 10:30 AM (permalink)
                                                Momma would peel then cut up the potatoes. She used to put them into cold water to keep them from turning dark.It may also have removed some starch,not sure, but it was done to keep the potatoes from turning.They were then drained and placed on  some paper towels. When any excess water was obsorbed,they were then thrown into hot oil or Crisco and fried. She didn't double fry them and used no lard or beef tallow. IMomma's fries were darker.
                                                A local hamberger chain here in San ANtonio,Chester's makes their fries the same way my mom did,or at least used to.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  eruby

                                                  • Total Posts: 585
                                                  • Joined: 2/28/2008
                                                  • Location: Carroll County, People's Republic of Maryland
                                                  • Roadfood Insider
                                                  RE: REAL french fries Tue, 01/29/13 3:13 PM (permalink)
                                                  californyguy


                                                  aren't we suppossed to call them Freedom Fries now or are we done being mad at the french?
                                                  Per Jeff Bridges in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, they are American fries.  

                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    tmiles

                                                    • Total Posts: 1908
                                                    • Joined: 10/1/2004
                                                    • Location: Millbury, MA
                                                    RE: REAL french fries Thu, 01/31/13 12:16 PM (permalink)
                                                    A friend/mentor who passed at least 20 years ago made a living peeling potatoes for independent restaurants. The peelers for mashed abraded the skin off and then he took the eyes out by hand. Some of his customers wanted the fries made from spuds with the skin on and some off. Different customers got different variety/treatment for their own purposes. I remember that he worked very had, and did a better job than I remember doing in the Marines. He always said that he needed to deliver perfection, so that his customers could deliver perfection. He didn't get rich in money , but he left a void when he died. I don't know of anyone doing what he did anymore. Mass production from Sysco, or do it yourself are the potato options now.
                                                     
                                                    I could be wrong but I don't think that the typical chef thinks a whole lot about potato variety anymore, beyond "baker", "Fryer", or masher. My friend knew his varieties, and kept different one in stock for different customers. I remember once trying to sell him some "superiors", a good yielding commercial variety. He let me store them (for free), but didn't buy one. He was happy to buy my "Green Mountains", "Cobblers" and "Katahdins", though. He never beat me up on price when I had something he needed or wanted. 
                                                    <message edited by tmiles on Sat, 02/2/13 7:03 AM>
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      SBXSTR

                                                      • Total Posts: 52
                                                      • Joined: 12/31/2005
                                                      • Location: Glastonbury, CT
                                                      RE: REAL french fries Wed, 11/6/13 5:18 PM (permalink)
                                                      I use this triple cook method and have had very good results. Blanch first, followed by fry #1 and then fry #2. I use canola oil - peanut oil is too expensive - and a deLonghi electric fryer. They can be frozen after fry #1.
                                                       
                                                      http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/05/the-burger-lab-how-to-make-perfect-mcdonalds-style-french-fries.html
                                                       
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        SBXSTR

                                                        • Total Posts: 52
                                                        • Joined: 12/31/2005
                                                        • Location: Glastonbury, CT
                                                        Re:REAL french fries Mon, 12/9/13 5:05 PM (permalink)
                                                        Oops, just discovered I was somewhat redundant. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/05/perfect-french-fries-recipe.html
                                                         
                                                        This recipe produces great twice-fried fries (actually, you'll see there is a third step involving blanching required). And after the first fry,  you can freeze them and then later fry and they still taste great. I use a De'Longhi D24527DZ Deep Fryer, Dual Zone with canola oil. It lives in the garage. When the oil gets dirty, it's time for a batch of onion rings, then toss the oil and send the fryer components through the heavy duty dish washer cycle. Except for the control/heating element unit of course. 
                                                        <message edited by SBXSTR on Mon, 12/9/13 5:08 PM>
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Online Bookmarks Sharing: Share/Bookmark

                                                          Jump to:

                                                          Current active users

                                                          There are 0 members and 1 guests.

                                                          Icon Legend and Permission

                                                          • New Messages
                                                          • No New Messages
                                                          • Hot Topic w/ New Messages
                                                          • Hot Topic w/o New Messages
                                                          • Locked w/ New Messages
                                                          • Locked w/o New Messages
                                                          • Read Message
                                                          • Post New Thread
                                                          • Reply to message
                                                          • Post New Poll
                                                          • Submit Vote
                                                          • Post reward post
                                                          • Delete my own posts
                                                          • Delete my own threads
                                                          • Rate post

                                                          2000-2014 ASPPlayground.NET Forum Version 3.9
                                                          What is Roadfood?  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright 2011 - Roadfood.com