Hot Fries, Cheddar Fries & More Fries
Andy Capp’s hot fries look like french fries, but crunch like chips. These unique alternatives to regular potato chips pack a powerful flavor punch in every crunch. Choose from Cheddar, Hot Chili Cheese and the ever-popular Hot Fries — all with 0 grams of trans fat per serving.
How to Make Hot Fries
Yield: serves 2-4Time: 20 minutes
- 2 russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1/16-inch julienne
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- Kosher salt
- Place the potatoes to a colander and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain the potatoes, and then spread them out on a kitchen towel or paper towel and pat dry.
- Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a 6-qt. saucepan and heat over medium-high until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. Add the cornstarch to the potatoes, and toss until evenly coated. Working in batches, fry the potatoes, stirring constantly with a slotted spoon and maintaining an oil temperature of at least 350°, until light golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fries to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to drain briefly. Transfer the fries to a large bowl along with the cayenne, garlic powder, and paprika, and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and serve while hot.
The Secret to Making Crispy French Fries at Home
There are a few secrets to making perfectly crispy French fries at home. The goal is to ensure that the center of the fries are fully cooked before the outsides get too brown. The way to achieve this is to cook the fries twice using a particular type of potato and oil.
Frying your hot fries two times might sound like a lot of work. However, if you want them light and crispy, that’s what you have to do. Otherwise, they’ll either be crispy but undercooked in the middle or just plain greasy and limp.
The Best Potatoes
High starch potatoes like Idaho potatoes (also called Russet potatoes) are best for French fries. This variety is denser and they have the least amount of moisture in them.
Avoid waxy potatoes, a category that includes any with red skin, new potatoes, and fingerling potatoes. These contain so much water that they will actually hollow out when you fry them because the water will evaporate.
Prepare the Potatoes
Before you begin preparing the potatoes, fill a large bowl with cold water and add a tablespoon of lemon juice. As soon as you cut the fries, you’re going to transfer them to this bowl. Cut potatoes will start to discolor if they’re exposed to oxygen for too long—even if they’re in the water. (There’s oxygen in water, after all.) But a little bit of acid in the water helps keep the potatoes nice and white.
- Peel the potatoes and remove any eyes.
- Square off the potato with your knife and slice it into 1/4-inch slabs. Cut each slab into 1/4-inch strips. The fries should be about 3 inches long. Transfer them to the cold water as you go.
- When the fries are cut, rinse them under cold water in the bowl until the water turns clear. The idea is to rinse off any excess starch.
- Add another tablespoon of lemon juice, and then a few cups of ice—enough to chill the water thoroughly. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. This step prevents the outside of the french fries from getting too brown before the inside cooks all the way through.
The Best Oil
Refined peanut oil is the best oil to use for making french fries. You can also use canola or safflower oil. Additionally, restaurant fries are so crispy because, among other things, they use old oil continuously.
As oil heats up it breaks down—cooking oils with a high smoke point will break down more slowly—and that creates crispier fries. The general rule of thumb is that you can reuse frying oil three or four times, or for a total of six hours cooking time. It needs to be properly filtered and stored in an airtight container, preferably in the refrigerator or a cool, dark, dry place. However, it can degrade faster than that. Before moving the storage container, look for any separation in the oil and then give it a sniff test; if it smells off or acrid, don’t use it.