Introduction: The Secrets to Chef-Made Heavenly Fries -- With Step-by-step Video Summary
So often we wonder on what
could be the secret to chef-made heavenly Fries. This Instructable on cooking these chef-made heavenly fries will be revealed here --
What are chef-made heavenly fries would look and feel in our mouth?
Most chefs will describe their heavenly fries as:
- Soft and creamy inside
- Crisp and light golden brown in color in the outside
How they made these into the above will be revealed in their traditional way of "double frying" --
Indeed, how would chef cook heavenly fries in the traditional way, here is the simple procedure for doing that --:
First they peel the potato, slice them into 1/2 " thick long sticks (julienne) and place these potato sticks into a cool water bath. Once ready, to cook these sticks are patted dry first before dipping them for the first fry.
The first fry or "blanching in hot oil" is where oil is heated to somewhere in the range of 325*F and then they fry the potato sticks; better yet we call them fries for 4 minutes.
Second step will be where, the blanched fries are allowed to cool first (you may store them in resealable freezer bags; unless, you are about to do the second fry and serve them hot right away to your guests. In this case, we need to do the second and final fry by bringing the heated oil to 375* F and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt. Serve hot.
FOR YEARS, since I learned these techniques from Chef Martin Punzalan, Chef Wenger and other chefs I happened to bump in my culinary adventure(s). So often, you hear these (traditional) chef say -- Double fry the fries....and the usual retort to a chef's command will always be, "yes, chef"!
NOWADAYS, NOT ANYMORE!
I am sure there is an alternative way -- I even learn that you can substitute sous vide cooking for the "first fry" and at the same locked in the flavor (brining) of these potatoes, all at the same time in one easy step. You can even use as many "resealable bags" of sliced and brined potatoes immersed in circulated tub of hot water at fixed temperature and all controlled by the sous vide machine. But of course for the "second fry" we mentioned in the above, there is no substitute with good old deep fry pan with oil heated to 375*F for 4 minutes to add those crispy and light golden brown in the outside. The "first fry" whether you boil the potato sticks or fries or use a sous vide is as you will notice is for the fries to have a soft (cooked) and creamy inside.
For now, I will go for the boil and fry method, since I don't have a sous vide in my pantry right now, but if you have one you can do the experiment by first brining and cooking the fries in a sous vide then do the only frying before serving those homemade heavenly fries....
HERE IS MY ALTERNATIVE WAY TO COOKING THOSE HEAVENLY FRIES AT HOME!
ALL YOU NEED:
2 medium white russet Idaho potatoes peeled and washed and cut into 1/2” thick long sticks
2- 2 tbsp of kosher salt
2-2cups of water (mix the salt and water for brining)
2 gallon size resealable freezer bags for brining the potato sticks.
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 medium stock pan for parboiling the brined potatoes
1 medium deep frying pan
1 slotted spoon for frying and draining excess oil on the cooked fries
Kitchen paper towels
Note: I took the time to add Instructables step-by-step below if you prefer hard copy of the procedure to cooking chef-quality French fries, but then all these are in the Video on top of your computer screen....
Step 1: Mis-en-place: Peeling and Slicing the Potatoes
Peel these 2 medium white Russet Idaho potatoes, wash to remove the starch (and prevent from browning) and then slice into 1/2” thick long sticks (julienne). Prepare the two resealable bags and put half and half of the sliced potatoes in these bags.
Step 2: Brining
Combine 4 tbsp salt with 4 cups of water in a bowl. Pour half of the brine solution into one of the reasealable bags containing sliced potato sticks. Pour the other remaining half of the brine solution into the second or other bag.
Brine for at least an hour, better seasoned and flavorful fries if allow to brine for more than an hour but if you are in a hurry then 1 hour will just be right!
Drain and pat dry the brined potatoes, discard the solution when you need to cook these brined fries.
Step 3: Parboiling the Potatoes in Lieu of the Traditional "first Fry"
Using a paper towel dry the brined potatoes first before you these into a pan of boiling water. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes only. Stirring the potato sticks from time to time to “even” the cooking of all the fries. Don’t cover. Don’t overcook.
(If you have a sous vide you can brine the potatoes (see previous step) and parboil these for 5 minutes in a sous vide immersion tank all at the same time, cooking and locking in the flavor. Saving you one step)
Pat dry and allow cooling before going to the next step of cooking these heavenly fries. You may opt also, to allow parboiled fries to cool and store them freezer bags (inside a freezer) for later frying and serving.
Parboiling will have the same effect as the “first fry” or “blanched in hot oil” as practiced by most chefs to create fries that is soft and creamy inside, before the “second and final fry.”
Step 4: Frying (the First and the Last) Once These Heavenly Chef-quality Fries
Set up a (clean and dry) medium deep fryer pan on your stovetop. Pour cooking oil (vegetable oil is best because it has high smoking point), heat to medium high until the deep fry thermometer placed in the heated oil, registers 375*F.
Fry those heavenly fries for 4 minutes. Not a second more. Avoid overcrowding the pan. Stir the fries from time to time to even out the golden brown color effect on individual potato sticks.
Transfer the cooked fries using a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil by laying those heavenly fries on a kitchen paper towel. No need to season since it was brined, remember!
Always serve hot.
Note: The alternative way of cooking those heavenly chef quality fries were borne out of my culinary studies, and the following are basic reasons for developing alternative way of cooking:
1. The parboiling (substitute to first fry) cooked the inside into a soft and creamy interior mouth feel or texture before the final fry which crisps and turn the final step for traditional chef-made fries into golden brown color in the outside.
2. Cooking oil or heating the oil to extreme heat which the alternative way does less often, saves or extends your use of kitchen cooking oil supplies.
3. With sous vide machine gaining new importance in the home and commercial kitchens, the traditional chefs’ way of “first fry” can be done and achieve its purpose of adding inside -- soft and creamy mouthfeel to the fries using (only) a sous vide (surprisingly too, add or lock in the flavor like when we brine our food before cooking all in one step with sous vide)
Step 5: Always Serve Fresh and Hot Off the Frying Pan
Always Serve Fresh and Hot off the Frying Pan
All I can say, “Yummy”
Soft and creamy in the inside, crisp and light golden brown in color in the outside! Perfect Fries!
Important Note from the author:
Brining or fermentation of these heavenly fries remove the natural sugar or excess starch which according to my research if natural sugar in potato is allowed or subjected to high or extreme temperature heat attained in cooking with oil (boiling water remains at 100*C or 212*F and will not go beyond) oil on the one hand can go HIGHER; the extreme heat of cooking oil is what causes “browning effect” or Maillard reaction in those delicious food we fry. But, something else is produced - acryl amide, which is toxic to our bodies according to FDA. Read more of my research and final project submitted to HarvardX: SPU27x Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science.
ON THE NEWS!
"Acrylamide is formed by a heat-induced reaction between sugar (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and asparagine. Known as the Maillard reaction, this process is responsible for the brown colour and tasty flavour of baked, fried and toasted foods." Food Quality News
Sous vide - which locks in flavor and cooks at the same time shortens the fries’ contact with extreme heat of cooking oil and using our present method or alternative way to heavenly chef-made fries can all make the difference in enjoying these snacks….
The alternative way of cooking easy and heavenly fries at home shown in this video was submitted by Danny Cruz (Certificate of Completion)in his final project 2 months ago and got a passing grade at the Harvard Edx online course --Science and Cooking: From Haute cuisine to Soft Matter Science.