I am sure everyone who loves salty snacks has, at one time or another, bought a can of shoestring potatoes at the market. I used to love these things when I was a kid. They were like a long, thin potato chip. There was nothing really special about them, other than the fact they were different because of their shape and you can put a bunch of them in your mouth at the same time and gross out your parents. When I was growing up, this was called fun!
As an adult, I still love to munch on shoestring potatoes. I may no longer fill my mouth with them and look gross (at least not in public), but I do still enjoy munching on them while watching a movie or a game on television. They are so very easy to make. Matter-of-fact, if you can make a French fry, you can make shoestring potatoes. They are, in a very real sense, nothing more than a very thin French fry!
Now, if you're thinking it would just be easier to go to the market and buy a can of these, you're right, it would be. If you decide to do that just remember to look at the ingredients. If you want to put those poisons into your body, you have that right. Enjoy your unhealthy life.
The secret to good shoestring potatoes is the oil. You want a clean oil that can withstand high heat. At Casa de Cuisine (where we serve these instead of French fries), we use peanut oil. You want to bring the oil to 355 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. At this heat, once the potatoes hit the oil, they will almost immediately get a shell on them, thus they will not soak in any excess oil.
The best potatoes to use for shoestring potatoes are the very basic Russet potatoes. Nothing fancy, no strange gourmet potatoes. You can, however, also use sweet potatoes, though your texture will be a little different.
Once the potatoes have been fried until they are a golden brown, toss them with whatever seasoning you like and enjoy!
If you would like to see a how-to slideshow on making Shoestring Potatoes, checkout the free Facebook page for ChefLarryEdwards (yes, all one word).
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."