Method: French Fries

I was asked recently to give some pointers on how to use a Mandolin slicer.  So, I figured I’d use it to make french fries and kill two birds with one pot.

What you will need:
Potatoes, Russets are good.
Mandolin slicer (or you can cut them with a good knife to your desired size)
Catch Plate (to go under Mandolin)
Strainer or Salad Spinner
Dutch Oven
Enough oil to fill up about halfway
Thermometer (has to read up to around 400 degrees F)
Clamp (optional)
Splatter screen (optional, but you really want to use it)
Nearby sink
Something to hold your fries in
Cookie Sheet or Jelly Roll Pan
Cooling rack the size of the Cookie Sheet
Something to get the fries out of the oil (tongs, spider, etc)

Method:

1)  Take out your mandolin and select the largest Jullienne blade it has.  Set it to a thick setting (I used 5/16).  Grab Mandolin hand guard and stick a potato on it.

Potato stuck firmly in place.

Potato stuck firmly in place.

2)  Stand with the mandolin’s side to you, but position yourself so you will be pulling and not pushing the food.

This is the proper angle. You should be looking at your mandolin like this.

This is the proper angle. You should be looking at your mandolin like this.

3)  Put one hand on the handle at the end of the device and pull food over the blades and towards yourself.

Put left hand on the back of the device and take hold of the handle!

Put left hand on the back of the device and take hold of the handle!

Pull hand guard and food toward you while pushing against the mandolin body. (I realize this is ALSO my left hand, but I didn't have anyone else to take photos)

With right hand, pull hand guard and food toward you while pushing against the mandolin body. (I realize this is ALSO my left hand, but I didn't have anyone else to take photos)

4)  Remove spent veggie when you can’t get anymore slices and toss it!

5)  Take all fries from the catch plate and fill up your vessel with cold water and french fries (I like to use the sink).  Let soak at least 10 minutes!!

Fries soaking in the sink (biggest bowl I have!) in cold water.

Fries soaking in the sink (biggest bowl I have!) in cold water.

6)  Once fries have soaked, take them out by the handful and put into a strainer or salad spinner.  DO NOT be tempted to just dump the vessel into the strainer.  The point here is to get rid of surface starches and if you pour that starchy water over the fries, you didn’t really get anywhere, did you?

Fries drying in collander. I have a splatter screen so I'm not going to freak if they splatter a little.

Fries drying in collander. I have a splatter screen so I'm not going to freak if they splatter a little.

7)  Allow fries to dry if using a strainer or pat dry with a clean towel.  If fries aren’t really dry, you’ll get hot grease splatters, which aren’t fun.

8)  Heat fry oil to 320 degrees F.  Fry fries in small batches for 3 minutes ONLY!  They should come out floppy, it’s ok.

Your large dutch oven with splatter screen, thermometer and clamp!

Your large dutch oven with splatter screen, thermometer and clamp!

9)  Remove batches of fries to drying rack (cookie sheet with cooling rack on top) and allow to drain until you’re done with the first batch.

This is what your draining rig should look like (well, mine is very used, but you get the idea... cooling rack on top of cookie sheet)

This is what your draining rig should look like (well, mine is very used, but you get the idea... cooling rack on top of cookie sheet)

10)  Crank the heat up to 375 degrees F and drop coolest fries in first, working in batches again.  3 minutes tops on this, unless you like burned fries.

11)  Lay fries back out on rack to drip.  Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings.

Finished product!

Finished product!

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1 comment so far

  1. Rick Mansfield on

    I’ve created a link to this post in the “Recipes” section of our newest “Cast Iron Around the Web” entry at http://www.cookingincastiron.com

    Your pictures are really well done, and I mentioned that in our link to your post.


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