Chef Kalani’s Homemade French Fries & Chips

French Fries, also known as “French-Cut Potato Fries”, or “French-Fried Potatoes”, are often referred to as “Chips” in Great Britain, due to the difference in cutting styles

British use random cuts with their knives to cut approximately similar shapes from the potato before frying and serving them

The French use their own “batonnet” or “alumette” cutting styles to create exact and perfectly uniform long squarely-cut sticks with any of their vegetables, including potatoes

They are both equally delicious

Use french fries when you want emphasis on the french fries, and use chips when you want them as more of a starch accompaniment to other things

Chips are generally thicker and more “potatoey” than french fries

Procedure:

  • Wash and peel one or two Large Potatoes
  • Russet Potatoes are often not Peeled, but unless you trust the source and soil, you should peel them.
  • If you don’t peel them, scrub them very thoroughly with a Brush under running water, and cut out the eyes

For French Fries:

  • Slice the Potato Length-wise about 1/2cm to 3/4cm, making sure every cut is exactly the same width
  • Divide the slices into two halves of the potato and re-stack them up
  • Slice down again length-wise through the potato about 1/2cm to 3/4cm, making sure every cut is exactly the same width as before
  • There will be odd-shaped pieces on the ends, these are still delicious, but if you dont want to use them, you can set them aside for later cooking, and add one or 2 more potatoes to keep each french fry the perfect size and shape
  • There are machines that can do this, but try to go from about 1/2 cm square to as long as the potato, or you can even go as thick as 1-1/2 cm square, to as long as the Potato

For Chips:

  • Slice the potatoes roughly the same width and thickness by starting at one end and chipping off pieces cut by cut, varying the knife angle to adjust to the surface of the potato
  • Potatoes will be more or less the shape of crescent or half moons, often tapering at both ends and having a “V” cut shape at its widest center
  • Try for about 5-7 cm long at its longest, and about 1-1/2 cm to 2 cm thick at their thickest

For Steak Fries:

  • Steak Fries need to be cut to about 2 or 3 cm wide, by about 1/2 cm to 1cm thick, and as long as the potato

For ‘Cross-Cut’ or ‘Criss-Cross’ Fries:

  • Make “Criss-Cross” or “Cross-Cut” fries by slicing along a wavy edge on a mandolin, or with a wavy knife, rotating the potato 90 degrees after each slice.

For All:

  • Place Potato sticks/ chips into a bowl of fresh cold water, and add a little salt
  • Let the potatoes soak in water for at least 30 minutes, over night is also ok
  • Get out the bottle of Corn Oil, Sunflower Oil, Soybean oil or other very light-colored, High-temp oil. Do not use dark colored oils, the lighter the color, the better it is for making French Fries and Chips
  • Heat the clean Oil in a large Wok or Rondeau until the oil is medium hot, around 325F after the oil is very hot, drain the Potatoes thoroughly
  • Carefully drop the potato sticks or chips by hand-fulls into the oil by placing them partly in the oil, then rapidly dropping them away from you, and pulling your hands quickly up and out of the way
  • Stir the French Fries gently with a metal slotted spoon so they do not stick to each other
  • Continue gently shaking the potatoes loose and stirring them slowly around in the oil
  • Remove from oil when about half done & let drain completely in basket over oil until no longer scalding hot
  • Increase heat to around 375-400F
  • Lower the basket into the oil & cook, for a bit, start to shake around after they firm up
  • Meanwhile, get out a large bowl and line it with paper towels or just clean paper.
  • When French Fries or Chips begin to turn a light brown in color around their edges, the French Fries are done
  • Remove the French Fries or Chips and let drain for a bit, turn out into stainless steel bowl
  • Add Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, or other general-purpose seasoning
  • Toss the Bowl well to Coat all the French Fries or Chips Evenly in seasoning
  • Serve Immediately

Variations:

  • Cut potato length-wise into slices, then use a small cookie cutter or knife to cut out fun shapes from each slice
  • Use Sweet Potato in place of regular potato in recipe above
  • Use Taro instead of regular Potato in recipe above
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