Everyone loves fries! I don’t know anyone that would turn them down! They may not be great for our waistline but the satisfaction of biting into crispy fries is a small pleasure that we all succumb to from time to time. Caveat emptor: Life is short so consume deep fried food with moderation or it could be shorter! That’s because most restaurants don’t deep fry them once but twice to get that crispy texture.
So making fries from scratch isn’t as easy as it may look. There are several factors that can affect the final result like using the wrong kind of potatoes, leaving too much starch in the potatoes, too much moisture, oil is not enough, too hot… you see where I am going!
Most recipes involve soaking the potatoes in cold salted water multiple times to remove some of the starch then make sure that the fries are patted with a clean towel before frying them. That’s one option but what if instead we took a completely different approach by deconstructing the fry? We could for example boil the potatoes, mash them, add starch and spices, roll, and cut the fries, then deep fry them. This method allows you to create long fries or any shape you like! That’s kind of fun! It also allows you to infuse your favorite spices into the fries, not just sprinkle it on top.
Best potatoes for fries
Idaho a.k.a Russet potato is your top choice. That’s the one with the thick dusty skin and their long oval shape makes beautiful fries! Avoid waxy potatoes like yellow, red, new or fingerlings potatoes because they don’t have enough starch.
In experimenting with sizes I noticed that, even though you can make long fries with this method, they will cook faster and stay crispier if you keep them normal size. You can however make all kinds of fun shapes like circles, stars. It can be fun even if a little unusual! I made thick fries in the photos so they don’t look as good as the skinny ones but the flavor was amazing with every bite.
- Deep fry: that’s the classic and quickest way to cook your fries. Just make sure that your oil is at 350 F
Best temperature is 375F. Unless you have a deep fryer that has temperature control, you will need a thermometer to make sure the oil doesn’t drop below 350 or go above 400F. Only add one or two fries at a time so that the temperature doesn’t drop too much and has time to go back up between batches.
2. Air fry: second best, will take between 16-18 minutes depending on how many fries you can put on your tray making sure that they don’t overlap. Keep an eye on the basket towards the last 5 minutes to make sure that they don’t burn. This works well if you have a multi oven that has a convection/microwave/air-fryer because the basket is quite large. Standalone air fryers tend to have a small drawer so it will take more time to get multiple batches done and by the time you are done with the last one, the first one will be cold!3. Bake: this is a much healthier alternative but it may not yield the amazing crack you get from deep frying them. Make sure to not over crowd the tray (better use several) otherwise you will get soggy fries. When fries are too close, they release moisture that doesn’t have space to evaporate. If you do this you will get nice fries.
– Use a sharp knife and a wet cloth to clean the knife between each slices.
– Because you are essentially making fries from seasoned mashed potatoes with starch, the fries will be a little soft before frying them so use a spatula or long tongs to delicately lift them before deep-frying.
Prepare the seasoned potatoes and freeze to save time.
Awesome spice combinations for fries
Garlic, vegan parmesan
Rosemary & thyme
Mexican spices (cumin, chili, lime…)
Serve with salads, sandwiches, vegan burgers etc.
Let’s get cooking!
Rosemary Garlic Fries
- Potato masher
- Rolling Pin
- Plastic film
- Kitchen thermometer
- Paper towel
- 8 Idaho Russet potatoes peeled
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp minced dried rosemary
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- oil for frying
Prepare the potatoes
- Peel and boil the potatoes until cooked. Drain and place in a large bowl to cool down.
- Mash the potatoes.
- Add the spices, one by one Garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, salt, nutritional yeast.
- Mix with hands until all the seasonings is well incorporated.
- Roll out a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface large enough for the ball of seasoned potatoes.
- Place another plastic film on top. Using a rolling pin, flatten the ball until you get a smooth slab that is not too thick but thick enough to be cut into fries.
- Heat up the oil until it reaches 370F.
- Line a plate with 2 sheets of paper towels.
- Using a metal slotted spoon or long metal tongs lift one fry at a time and fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Place each fry on the paper towel to remove excess oil
- Serve immediately!
- If the fries sit for a while they will get soft. You can air fry them for another 10-15 minutes to get them crispy again without refrying them in oil.