I spent a couple days in the Instructables test kitchen messing around trying to get it right. I tried different amounts of seasoning, I tried cornstarch instead of flour, I tried dregding the fries instead of using a wet batter, etc. After five tries, the following recipe was the winner.
And really, you don't even need to buy a special cutter and do curly fries. This batter and seasoning will work just as well on regular fries. :D
Step 1: What you'll need:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1(ish) cup water
- 3-5 russet potatoes
Additional useful hardware:
- a deep fryer or pan of oil at 350 F
- a sheet pan
- a baking rack
- a large bowl
- a large-ish ziploc bag or other foodsafe plastic bag
Step 2: Cut the potatoes
I found that the best way to use the cutter is to slice off maybe a half inch from one end of the potato. This will give you a nice flat surface area to get the potato to adhere to the prongs.
Also, bigger potatoes work better. Small potatoes result in less spirals.
Step 3: Soak the potatoes
Add the potatoes to the hot water and let them soak for 15-20 minutes.
There are two reasons we're doing this: crispier fries AND they cook faster in the oil later since they're cooking a little now.
Step 4: Make the batter + battering the fries
Work the bag with your hands to get all the clumps out!
When the fries are done soaking, pull them out by the handfuls, shake off the excess water and dump them in the batter bag. (You might need to break up some of the longer spirals!) Shake the bag and massage it until everything is nicely coated.
Step 5: Frying
Play around with the time a bit - three minutes was pretty much perfect for me. If I took it to five minutes they'd get dried out but look prettier.
Two tips for frying these:
- Don't crowd the basket.
- Don't shake off too much excess batter.