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Seriously Simple: Homemade french fries are worth the time

By Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

I love french fries, but I try to be good when I am out at a restaurant. If I really want them I make them myself. French fries aren't hard to make. They just require some advance organization and a few tools: a sharp knife, a deep fryer or a deep heavy cast iron skillet, a fry basket and a deep fry thermometer.

The keys to crisp french fries are using fresh oil, having the oil at a constant high temperature and making sure that the potatoes are dried. As far as how many these homemade fries will serve, it really depends upon who is eating them. I figure one potato per person but you can judge how much you need depending upon your group,

The traditional method requires cooking the potatoes twice. The first cooking time sets the potatoes and cooks them inside. The second cooking time finishes cooking the potatoes and makes them crisp and golden brown. Don't crowd the potatoes, because this will bring down the frying temperature and make the french fries too oily. Remember, the temperature goes down as soon as you add the potatoes. That is why it may take a few more minutes for the first frying.

You'll also find methods for frying shoestring below. And while the recipes here recommend peeling the potatoes, you may prefer a more rustic presentation with the peel on. Either way they're delicious.

There a number of ways to cut the potatoes: try the french fry cutter disc on the food processor, any of the french fry gadgets or a very sharp knife. If you like to dip your fries, why not try a garlic mayonnaise instead of ketchup? Or offer both if you can't decide. Serve these on a plate or in a basket.

French Fries

Serves 4

2 pounds baking potatoes or 4 medium baking potatoes (1 medium potato per serving, depending upon your appetite)

Peanut oil

Salt

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