French fries with garlic aioli

fries4I love love love French fries. I mean, who doesn’t? Even the queen of veggies, Michelle Obama, says that fries are her guilty pleasure. The saltiness, the crispness, mmmmmmmm writing about them just makes me want them.

I have this weird inner conflict many times when I eat out. The devil part mind tells me to get a side of fries, but the angel side always pulls me toward a veggie. The veggie usually wins, especially because I can always steal some fries from Ben’s plate.

I’ll never have this conflict again, though, because I’ve found how to make fries that are even better than any I’ve ever had in any restaurant. That’s right–these are the best fries I’ve ever eaten. I’m serious. Ben even agrees. It is shocking how delicious these fries are. The potato on the inside is a soft pillow, and the outside is crispy as a potato chip. Dipped in garlic aioli, it’s a little bit of heaven.

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Now, I wouldn’t suggest to make these too often. I read somewhere that cooking fries with this slow method makes them healthier, but let’s not kid ourselves: These are French fries. They are potatoes fried in oil and then sprinkled in salt. They aren’t healthy, so let’s not bother trying to figure out if they’re “healthier” than other versions.

Regardless of the health content, you need to make these. You can eat them with a salad to balance the meal, but that’s not what you should be worrying about now– you should only be worrying if you don’t have any russet potatoes in your pantry for dinner tonight.

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Slow-fried french fries aka the best fries I’ve ever had
from Bon Appetit
serves 2 to 3
five-stars

Notes: Although unlikely, if you have leftovers, they’ll be okay. Reheat the fries in a toaster oven for about 7-10 minutes at 250F.

There’s no need to peel the potatoes.

What to do with the oil once you’ve made the fries? Let it cool, and maybe this is gross, but I use a funnel to put in an old bottle of vegetable oil and use it to make fries a couple more times. Otherwise, just put the oil in the bottle in the trash.

 

2 medium russet potatoes, cut into french fry sticks, about ⅜ x ⅜ inches thick
vegetable oil
sea salt

1. Place the French fry sticks in a large pan (use either a large Dutch oven or skillet. I used this), careful not to overcrowd, only putting in two layers of fries. It’s best to give the fries some room to move (they’ll turn out prettier). Cover with oil, filling the pan with oil 1 inch higher than that fries.

2. Cook on medium heat for about 45 minutes. After 10 to 15 minutes, the oil will be boiling. Every so often loosen the potatoes from the bottom of the pot with a heatproof spatula. Do this as carefully as you can– you don’t want to break the fries into pieces.

3. Once the potatoes are very tender (after about 40 to 45 minutes), turn heat up to medium-high. Cook about 10 minutes longer, until golden and crisp. Remove fries from oil using a slotted spoon, and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with several good shakes of sea salt.

***You can use the hot oil for another batch; it will cook faster, so keep your eye on it. Use the same technique, though.

 

Garlic aioli
from Bon Appetit
makes about ⅓ cup
four-stars

Note: Not only is this a great accompaniment to fries, it’s also a delicious dip for crudites.

 

1 garlic clove
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon lemon juice

1. Turn the garlic into a paste as well as you can: Press down and run the tines of a fork vigorously over the clove for about a minute, until it has broken apart and is sort of paste-like.

2. Mix together garlic paste, salt, mayonnaise, oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, using the same fork that you used to make the garlic paste and stirring vigorously. Keep refrigerated.

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