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Patates Frites

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 December 2017 at 16:14
Patates Frites

These Belgian fried potatoes are unique and wonderful, by all accounts. A while ago, Chris posted excellent thoughts on preparing Patates Frites here:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/moules-frites-mosselen-met-friet_topic2074.html

While going through some files, I also found a recipe in My Time/Life Foods of the World volume dealing with Belgium. I am posting it here for comparison; however, I strongly recommend paying close attention to Chris's detailed notes on his thread when preparing these. His insight and real-world experience are worth a dozen sets of written instructions.

Quote Patates Frites
Belgian-Style Fried Potatoes

To serve 6:

5 pounds beef kidney suet, cut into 1/4-inch dice (see note below)
1 cup cold water
9 medium-sized boiling potatoes (about 3 pounds)
Salt

Combine the suet and water in a heavy 4- to 5-quart casserole and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible point, cover tightly, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the solid bits of suet are crisp and a delicate golden color and have rendered all their fat.

Let the fat cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then strain it into a deep bowl or pan through a fine sieve lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth. With a wooden spoon, gently press the solid bits to remove all their fat before discarding them. There should be at least 2 quarts of fat.

Peel the potatoes and drop them into a bowl of cold water to prevent their discoloring. With a large, sharp knife, cut the potatoes lengthwise into slices about 3/8 inch thick, then cut the slices into strips about 3/8 inch wide and 2½ to 3 inches long. As you cut each strip, return it to the cold water.

Pour the fat into a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan to a depth of at least 4 to 6 inches and heat it to 325°F on a deep-frying thermometer.

A handful at a time, pat the potato strips completely dry with paper towels and plunge them into the hot fat. Turning the strips about with a slotted spoon, fry the potatoes for 8 minutes.

Then transfer them to paper towels to drain. Deep-fry and drain the remaining potatoes similarly. The partially fried potatoes can wait unrefrigerated for several hours, or you may complete their frying at once.

Just before serving, heat the fat once more, but this time let it reach a temperature of 360. A handful at a time, deep-fry the potatoes for about 2 minutes, turning them about with a slotted spoon, until they are crisp and brown. Drain the patates frites on paper towels and sprinkle them lightly with salt.

NOTE: Although it is less traditional, the potatoes may be successfully deep-fried in vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 325°F for the preliminary frying, and allow each batch to cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Heat the oil to 375°F for the final frying, and allow about 2 minutes for the potatoes to crisp and turn brown.

Admittedly, rendering kidney fat for French fried potatoes takes more time than frying the potatoes in vegetable oil. But the extra effort is rewarding because the beef fat gives the potatoes a characteristic Belgian flavor impossible to achieve in any other way. Moreover, the fat is quite inexpensive, and when strained and refrigerated can be reused several times to deep-fry not only potatoes but other foods as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2018 at 12:31
For the sake of convenience, I am re-posting Chris's notes on this thread, so that the collective knowledge can be in one place:

Originally posted by Chris Chris wrote:

Frites or friet (pronounce both "freat") are the French and Dutch names for what many of you (wrongfully, sorry) call "French fries". Belgium is fries country, let's leave it to that. There are hundreds of opinions on how to make them. This is the way they are made in our homes.

Traditionally they are fried in "ossenwit", nothing less than virginal white ox suet. It's still used and it's without any dought the best fat for making fries. But, like many people, I have to watch my health, so I use vegetable oil. Making fries isn't difficult at all. Just do a search for good potatoes, that's key-factor number one. I use "bintje". One thing to absolutely avoid is using potatoes containing a lot of sugar. You'll have to ask around. If they contain a lot of sugar, they will get an unwanted darkbrown appearance but they will never get crunchy!!

Before you ask, Heston Blumenthal suggests to make his "best chips" by cutting them thick, poach in water, cool, poach in low temperature oil, cool, fry in hot oil. Those are NOT traditional fries. They are called "Pomme Pont-Neuf", also a very traditional preparation, French origin this time.

Enough of that, let's make fries.

Peel and handcut fries in a size of around 8-10 mm (0,3 inch) square. First cut 8 mm slices from large peeled potatoes, then cut the slices in fries. The advantage of handcutting is that they will have a variation of doneness which gives the best mouthfeel. Don't leave them cut like that or they will go black. If you're not going to fry instantly, just put them in water for the time being.

Anyway, just rinse the fries in cold water and dry them in a clean kitchen towel. Warning; if you don't dry the fries, the water hanging on them will accumulate UNDER the oil, it will start to boil, push the oil upward and it can easily cause your deepfryer to overflow!!! So, please, dry the fries before frying them!

Precook the fries at 150°C/300°F. Do not overcrowd the fryer, always cook fries in small batches. When you lower the basket with the fries, many times it takes a minute or so before you see any cooking, that's a normal thing, soon they will start to fry. This first pre-cooking takes around 8-10 minutes, depending on the kind of potatoes etc. Whatever you do, do not let them get any color.

Pre-cooking is needed only to soften the potato, nothing else. The easiest way to check the pre-cooking is to lift the basket and pinch a frite. You'll feel how soft they are; your fingers have to go through easily. Once pre-cooked, spread them on a large plate of oventray and let them cool. If you want crispy fries, soft inside, you cannot ignore this step of cooling!! Do not put them in the fridge or they will loose their typical potato taste!

(BTW, in this stage you can bag these pre-cooked cooled fries and freeze them! They will be the best frozen fries you ever tasted...)

[To finish the process,] set your deepfryer to 180°C/350°F. Put the cooled pre-cooked fries in the oil. They need only a few minutes. When the sound of the frying changes (that's what professional friturists look for!), they are done. Do not let them go dark brown.

Remove from the fryer and salt ASAP or the salt will not stick to the fries.

Eet smakelijk/Bon appétit!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2018 at 13:47
and don't forget the frites sauce, which is essentially mayo.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2018 at 13:51
I'm pretty bad at home-made mayonnaise, but I might give it another go for this project. The one time I did get it right, it was good....very good!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2018 at 14:08
I've never tried my hand a mayo, but it's on my list of things to try someday before I die.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2018 at 14:13
Mike - here are some notes and some great advice on the subject, as well as my own experiences:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/making-mayonnaise_topic1453.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2018 at 02:08
The récipe merits excellence ..

  
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