Spud heaven

A goof-proof method returns harm-fresh vegetables into addictive snacks.






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Publication: Sunset
Author: Dean, Stephanie
Date published: October 1, 2011

Super-crisp fries

SERVES 6 | 1 HOURS

About 2 lbs. potatoes, cut (see below for specifics)

Vegetable oil for frying

Fine sea salt

1. Spread cut potatoes in bottom of a large roasting pan in a single layer. Add enough oil to cover. Put on a stovetop, preferably over 2 burners, and cook over low heat, moving pan as necessary to prevent hot spots, until tubers are tender when pierced, about 25 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully lift potatoes every so often to keep them from sticking.

2. Increase heat to medium-low (no higher) and cook potatoes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes more. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle immediately with salt.

PER SERVING OF RUSSET FRITES (SEE SUNSET.COM FOR OTHERS) 200 CAL., 41% (83 CAL.) FROM FAT; 3.2 G PROTEIN; 9.2 G FAT (1.2 G SAT.); 27 G CARBO (2 G FIBER); 181 MG SODIUM; 0 MG CHOL.

Ways to cut your spuds

Ruby Crescent fingerling fries Halve lengthwise (thick fingerlings may take a little longer to crisp up).

Purple potato wedges Cut peeled potatoes into V2-in.thick wedges.

Yukon Gold chips Using a mandoline, cut 1 lb. potatoes into paper-thin slices. Stir often while frying.

Russet frites Cut potatoes into 1A-In. -thick matchsticks.

Two more terrific fries

Sweet-potato fries Cut orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (often mislabeled "yams") into V2-in. -thick sticks and boil in water until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry, then follow frying instructions at right.

Yuca sticks Peel yuca (also known as cassava or manioc) and boil in water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, pat dry, trim fibrous inner core (you'll see it), and cut into -in. -thick sticks about 3 in. long. Follow frying instructions at right.

The best potato-frying technique we tried was this one, by the famous French chef Jol Robuchon. The low-heat method takes a little time, but will give you very crunchy fries

Yuca needs to be boiled before frying so it's soft enough to slice

Crispness check! Let a fry drain on a paper towel for a minute before trying

Fry sweet potatoes and yuca the standard way

Heat 2 to 3 in. vegetable ojlin a large saucepan until oil registers 350 on a deep-fry thermometer. Fry in batches until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes.

6 easy dippers

Malty pepper mayo

Whisk together cup mayonnaise, 4 tsp. malt vinegar, and tsp. pepper.

PAIR WITH Yukon Gold chips

Sweet chili sauce

Whisk together 4 tbsp. hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce, and 2 tbsp. honey.

PAIR WITH Yuca sticks

Warm 3-cheese clip

In a small bowl, toss together cup each shredded asiago, gouda, and sharp yellow cheddar cheeses. Put cheese in a small saucepan with 3 tbsp. heavy cream and cook over low heat, stirring often, until cheese has melted and is smooth. Stir in .1 tbsp. finely chopped chives (optional).

PAIR WITH Fingerling fries

Cilantro-lime aioli

Whisk together 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, cup mayonnaise, zest of 1 lime, and 3 tsp. lime juice.

PAIR with Sweet-potato fries

Aji amarillo dip

Whisk together cup mayonnaise with 5 tsp. aj amarillo paste (find in Latino markets).

PAIR WITH Purple potato wedges

Piquiilo ketchup

Whirl cup ketchup, cup jarred roasted piquiilo peppers* 1 tbsp. almond oil, and tsp. each kosher salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth.

PAIR WITH Russet/rites *Piquillos are small, mildly spicy red Spanish peppers; find in well-stocked grocery stores.

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