Yeah, the Dutch and Belgian fries were good, darn good for street food. But, call me provincial; call me a chauvinist; my palate prefers the fries I get domestically—Thrashers’ “boardwalk” fries or the amazing duck fat fries served at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, MD. Nearly a third of the American potato harvest goes to making fries. Although clearly of European origin, the current thin style of fries has become popular worldwide, primarily by American fast food chains such as McDonald's.
To obtain a facsimile of the Golden Arches’ fries, start with Russet Burbank potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 3/8 inch square strips. Soak the strips into cold water for 10 minutes then dry well. Heat a good quality frying oil in a frying pan or deep fryer to just over 300 degreeesF, and put in a handful of fries; not more at once or the oil will cool down. Fry for 4 to 8 minutes while stirring regularly to prevent sticking. Remove the fries to a large bowl lined with paper towels and let them cool down for at least 1/2 hour. Reheat the oil to 375 degrees F and fry for 2 minutes until crispy and golden brown. The fries should be crispy outside and soft on the inside.
For more recipes and more of Reed Hellman’s signature culinary adventures, visit his Website at http://www.reedhellmanwordsmith.com/. You can follow his monthly columns in Recreation News and read his feature articles in Business Monthly.