Saturday, December 24, 2022

You want fries with that?

Here is the plate of frites (French fries) we had with Wednesday's steak au poivre lunch. We like to buy frozen fries. There's nothing in them except potatoes and vegetable (either canola or sunflower) oil. We have a home fryer and use peanut oil as the frying medium. The fries come out close to perfect every time: crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. And, yes, I always put black pepper on my fries.

Perfect fries every time. Taken with the Pixel 6.

We've made home-made fries from fresh potatoes many times over the years, but I rarely get them to turn out as good as the frozen ones. Ken has a theory that the companies that make fries for restaurants and supermarkets buy up all the best potatoes and that the spuds that we find just don't make the best fries. Plausible. We've tried many varieties of potato (there are a lot) and many methods for cooking them and rarely have we come up with a crispy home-made fry.

Every now and then I think of getting an air fryer, but I haven't gone there yet. As for oven-fries, they tend to have additives like sugar (for browning) and I don't want that. So for now we'll stick with what we know and enjoy.


  1. Air fryers are THE thing this year, it seems. Three of our friends treated themselves and one has been debating it for months. He keeps telling himself it’s going to end up taking up valuable counter space until it’s finally stuffed in a cupboard due to lack of use. One of our favorite restaurants here, Primavera, makes the best fries we’ve ever had. Always. We don’t know if it’s the potatoes, the oil, the hands, the aura... but they are delicious.

  2. Ken is close, Walt.... it isnt that they buy up the best varieties.... it is that the supermarkets just don't sell the good ones, they don't look "good" in the shop.... that is part of the reason that we grow our own.... Red Duke of York, Remarka and Stemster are the ones we grow.... produce good bakers, lovely roasties and crisp and golden chips.
    One of the best varieties is Golden Wonder.... a 1906 Scottish maincrop potato... closely followed by Russet Burbank, Red Pontiac and Atlantic [USA 1875, 1954 & 1990].... but the one you will eat most by buying chips from the supermarket is Bintje [1910 Netherlands] as it is the one most suited to the European climate and is grown in vast quantities. [And is also available in the supermarkets... check the label for the variety, they aren't all Agata]
    Sorry if I've bored you, but I do love me spuds....
    May you an Ken have a very good Festive Season and Mayor Vole and Bon Sandels for 2023.... especially the bon sandels

  3. I refused any notion of an air fryer, expecting, also, that it would end up taking up counter space, and we'd never use it... but, we got one (under my strict condition that it would NEVER stay on the counter)... and I do like it. I think some people use it somehow to actually create meals, but I think its best use is for heating up frozen things (egg rolls come out so nice and crispy, frozen fish sticks and battered fish filets, frozen fried shrimp) and re-heating things that were crispy the first time (pizza slices, doggy-bag Reuben sandwich, for example). But, really, a convection oven does the same thing, just in a larger space... might take a tad longer. The basket of the air fryer is not huge, so there are limits there. Mostly, it has just brought a new dimension into our quick meals, because we never would buy those previously mentioned frozen things, to heat up in the oven... somehow, doing them in the air fryer just seems faster. That's my input!

    1. We got a small air lives in the store room.... that will be up for sale as we have replaced it with an air fryer that roasts and fries all sorts of things and takes up one square foot of worktop.... it has a spit as well, yesterday's chicken was done on it. But my initial thought was as you.

  4. I am learning to use a small airfryer. It seems a better choice at times rather than heating up the whole oven. I've never tried pepper on fries. Merry Christmas Eve from Eve;-)

  5. We bought a small, two person sized air fryer and like it. I hesitate to say love it because we're still finding out how to use it. Like many gadgets, the things that it's good for it's really great for, although cooking the old way is still the first that springs to mind.
    Happy Christmas to you and Ken, and a Happy Belated Birthday to you, too. Somehow that day slipped me by.
    And, of course, have a fabulous New Year!

  6. Happy Christmas to you all! Even a plate of fries look gourmet and something splendid. You do things so well.
    Pepper on fries! I am going to try this. If I like it, you know I will always think of you when doing so.

  7. Merry Christmas! Now I'm hungry (happens a lot with this blog). -- Chrissoup


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