You thought it was just a potato?

At our house on occasion we make homemade French fries. I’ve heard lots of people say, “Oh no. I’d never do that when you can just pick up a bag of frozen fries at the grocery store.” Well all I can say to that is, “I’m sorry.” And I really am.

There are a lot of good things in life, and the potato is one of them. Think of another food you can boil, roast, bake, stew, cream, mash and fry confident in the fact that it will all be good. Probably there are other foods you can do that to, but right now I can’t think of any. And anyway, I’m trying to make a point here, so if exaggeration helps in achieving that, so be it. There’s nothing as good as a homemade French fry. The end.

Maybe the best thing about homemade French fries at our house is the fact that I’m not the one who makes them. Fowler is the FryDaddy king.

And that’s what I recommend you use if you decide to go down the French fry road. Something else that’s important is the kind of oil you use to fry in. Fowler uses Canola oil. And yes, you can tell the difference in the taste.

olivia6-25 Page 4A.inddAlso of utmost importance is the kind of potato you use. For the purpose of frying, you can’t go wrong with a russet potato. We do not, repeat, do not recommend baking potatoes as in Idaho. We tried them once and were really disappointed in the end product. Even though they finally turned golden brown, they never got crispy. And what good is a French fry that lies limply on the plate without any enthusiasm whatsoever? The flavor was another letdown. I didn’t even care about dipping them in ketchup. There wasn’t any point in it, and why waste ketchup?

I suppose you could fry cardboard and get much the same result. Don’t know, as we’ve never actually tried that, but just saying.

Anyway, you scrub your russet potatoes, because the peelings stay on. Then, you put the potatoes on a cutting board and, one at a time of course, slice them longways, turn them skin-side down in a unit, stacked, and slice them again, trying to make them of equal size. Don’t make them too big, because they aren’t as good. That’s just an opinion.

If you have a French fry cutter, which we don’t, use that. We gave one as a Christmas present last year and have heard that it is great. Maybe this year we’ll get one. It could go on the wish list. As the fries are sliced, put them into a bowl of cold water. This keeps them from turning brown.

Next, get the oil hot. Never try to fry anything unless the oil is hot before you put whatever you’re trying to fry into the pot.

We turn the control on the highest temperature (I think it’s 400 degrees) and wait for the light to go off. Then drain the fries you’re frying first, pat dry and put into the basket.

It’s important to keep an eye on them while they fry. Don’t go into the den and watch the news. That’s important. Not that anyone here has ever done that, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.

When they are as brown as you like, remove the basket from the oil, hook it on the side of the fryer and let it drain for a minute.

Then dump the fries out onto a platter with paper towels on top, salt lightly and eat.

Sometimes the fries are all gone before they get to the table. That’s when you do another batch. We guarantee, once you eat these you’ll never go back to frozen.