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Homemade French Fries with Five Dipping Sauces

Makes 4 servings
  • Active time: 1 hr
    Total time: 1 1/2 hr (not including sauces)
The secret to great French fries is to fry them twice: once at a lower temperature to cook the potato through, then again at a higher temperature to brown them. We're also giving you five reasons to leave the ketchup in the fridge, with homemade dipping-sauce recipes for Sour Cream and Onion Dip, Saffron Mayonnaise , Ginger-Sesame Sauce, Roasted Red Pepper–Walnut Dip, and Chipotle-Tomatillo Sauce.

Bonus points: All the sauces will do double-duty as dips for crudités or chips, or as sauces for chicken, fish, or meat.

This recipe is part of our Gourmet Modern Menu: Burger Bash. Click here to view the full menu.
Published in Gourmet Live 08.01.12

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds russet (baking) potatoes (5 or 6)
  • 4 to 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Salt

EQUIPMENT:

  • A 5- to 6-quart pot; a deep-fat thermometer

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Peel potatoes, then cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick sticks, submerging in a large bowl of ice water. Rinse potatoes in several changes of cold water in bowl (more ice isn't necessary) until water is clear. Drain in a large colander.
  • Spread potatoes out in a single layer on several layers of kitchen towels to drain, then pat dry.
  • While potatoes are being rinsed and dried, heat 2 inches oil slowly in a 5- to 6-quart pot over medium-low heat until thermometer registers 300°F.
  • When oil is ready, increase heat to high and fry potatoes in four batches, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through but still white, about 3 minutes. (Adjust heat to keep oil as close to 300°F as possible and return oil to 300°F between batches.) Transfer fried potatoes with a slotted spoon to a baking sheet lined with dry towels to drain. When all potatoes are fried once, cool potatoes to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  • Reheat oil over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375°F. Fry potatoes again in four batches, stirring, and adjusting heat to keep oil as close to 375°F as possible, until deep golden, 3 to 4 minutes. (Return oil to 375°F between batches.) Transfer with slotted spoon to dry towels to drain briefly, then season with salt and serve immediately, with sauce(s) for dipping.

COOKS' NOTES:

  • Potatoes can be cut 4 hours ahead and kept submerged in a bowl of cold water.
  • Fries can stand at room temperature between first and second frying for up to 2 hours.
  • Fries can be made 2 hours ahead and left at room temperature. Reheat on a rimmed baking sheet in a heated 350°F oven
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