One of my favorite food/cooking shows on TV in the last few years (besides Food Fighters) is The Mind of a Chef. If you aren’t familiar with the show, each season is centered around one or two chefs and the show explores their cooking background. The show ends up being sort of half biographical, half educational, and half cooking.
And yes, I realize that adds up to 1.5 shows, but the show is just that good.
I could’ve picked any number of things they cooked during the episodes, but one of the things that immediately caught my eye was April’s simple method for cooking fries for her fish and chips dish.
Potatoes were on my very next shopping list to make these Double Fried French Fries!
1) Preheat your fry oil to 250-275 degrees F. Cut potatoes into large wedges. You should get 8-10 wedges per potato.
2) Add wedges to boiling water and boil for five minutes. Drain wedges and spread them out so they don’t stick together.
3) Fry wedges in batches at the low temperature for 7 minutes. Drain and repeat with all your wedges.
4) Turn oil temperature up to 350-360 degrees F.
5) When ready to serve, re-fry wedges at the higher temperature for 6-7 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.
When wedges come out of the second fry, immediately season them with salt and pepper. Serve with ketchup… or not.
Double Fried French Fries
Throwing potatoes in hot oil is a way that will get you a decent fry. Anything fried, after all, will be okay. But to take it a step further, many places will double fry their fries, first at a low temperature and then at a higher temperature.
April’s method takes this even a step further: first boiling the fries – or blanching them lightly, then frying them low, then frying them high.
It’s an extra step, for sure, but not a hard one. The final product, these Double Fried French Fries, are one awesome chip (or fry for us yankees).
The key to making sure these don’t dissolve on you throughout the three cooks is to cut the potatoes in good-sized wedges.
So, like I said. The first step is to boil these bad boys. 5-6 minutes in boiling water should do the trick. You want to see them getting fluffy around the edges, but don’t boil them enough to mash them.
The nice thing about this step is it makes the final chip completely tender on the inside.
The First Fry
It helps to have a decent deep fryer for these guys so you can control the temperature. If all you have is a pot and a thermometer though, you can still make it happen.
Try to hold your oil around 250-260 degrees F. and fry the potatoes in batches for about 7 minutes. Be sure to let the potatoes dry a bit between the boiling and frying steps or you’ll be tossing a lot of water into hot oil (read: mess/burns).
After the first fry the potatoes will be a little crispy, but mostly just pale sticks. At this point though the potatoes are at least completely cooked through!
The other nice thing is that you can keep the fries at this stage (after the first fry) for hours until you are ready to eat.
Then crank your oil up to the higher 350-360 degree F and toss the potatoes back in (in batches).
The fries should bubble as much during this fry because a lot of the moisture is already cooked out.
After another 6-7 minutes, your Double Fried French Fries should be golden brown and crispy.
As soon as the potatoes come out, season them heavily with coarse salt and pepper.
The standard is to eat these with ketchup if you’re a red blooded American, but to be honest, I prefer the European vinegar option.
Or just naked with salt and pepper. These Double Fried French Fries are that good.
April Bloomfield is an amazing chef (with multiple amazing restaurants) but it was great to see her take on something as humble as the French Fry!