No French bistro meal would be complete without a heaping mound of frites, potatoes that are deep-fried to crisp perfection. To ensure that yours will measure up to bistro standards, take the time to squeeze the excess moisture from the julienned potatoes and then let them dry before dropping them into the hot oil. This will prevent the potatoes from sticking together and keep the oil from splattering.
- 1 lb. (500 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and julienned on a mandoline
- Canola oil for frying
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) aioli
Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel.
Pile the julienned potatoes in a double layer of cheesecloth, gather up the ends and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Let dry, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 3 inches (7.5 cm), making sure the oil does not come more than halfway up the sides of the pot. Heat the oil to 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels.
Working in batches, add the potatoes to the hot oil and cook until light golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes, then turn the potatoes and continue cooking until golden brown and crisp, about 15 seconds more. If the potatoes start to darken too much, reduce the heat until the oil temperature drops to 325°F (165°C). Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, transfer the fries to the prepared baking sheet. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the fries to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately with the aioli alongside. Serves 4.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen