Fun With Fries!

French Fries, known as American Fries in other countries, are a favorite far and wide across the U.S.A. Whether you make them yourself or turn to the tried-and-true frozen brands, have some fun with fries using the tips, tricks and recipes you see here!

 

History

Retro Fried Potato Cart - Belgium
Via blog.seniorennet.be

Originating in Belgium, potatoes have been being fried since the late 1600-1700’s. They had switched from fried fish to frying thinly sliced potatoes when fishing was tough in the winter. The popularization of the “french” fry came from a French army medical officer named Antoine-Augustine Parmentier. While the French had previously avoided potatoes in their diet, his time in a Prussian prison camp left him with no other food choices, and that was when he discovered their potential. Upon his return to France, he fiercely popularized potatoes during socialite dinners and even used tactics like paying guards to protect his potato gardens, which worked in making people think they were very valuable. It took a famine in 1785 for potatoes to catch on in the rest of country, which in turn lead to their popularity in the west.

 

Best Potatoes To Use

Russet Potatoes
Russet Potatoes

The ideal french fry is golden brown in color, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The perfect potato to achieve this is not too wet and not too dry, This is because a potato with too much water will turn out soggy when fried, while potatoes that are too dry will be hard after frying.

The Brine Test

To estimate the moisture content of potatoes for the perfect french fry, you can use two tubs of brine. The first will be a weak 9% salt brine – in which potatoes that aren’t too wet will sink. The second is a strong 12% salt brine, in which potatoes that aren’t too dry will float. So if your potato sinks in the first brine and floats in the second, those are the potatoes you should proceed with frying!

Brine Recipe:

90 g of salt + 1 kg of water – ideal potatoes will sink in this brine.

120 g of salt + 1 kg of water – ideal potatoes will float in this brine.

 

Ways To Make Fries

Grill

Grilled French Fries

While they don’t get as crisp as deep frying, grilling your fries adds a deep, smoky flavor that makes up for it! Russet potatoes are a fry-lovers first choice. While you can use a grill-friendly pan or dish to cook your fries, the best grilled fries are cut to thick, ½ inch thick sticks you can lay across your grill so they don’t fall through. After soaking in water for 1 hour to remove the starch that causes sogginess, dry them well and toss in oil and spices. Once your grill is preheated to medium, grill fries until browned on all 4 sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t forget the condiments! These are the perfect accompaniment to a steak, burger or sandwich!

See The Recipe!

 

Baked

Oven Baked Fries

You CAN get crispy fries from the oven, but there are quite a few factors to take into account to achieve this! The first trick is to soak the potatoes in cold water after cutting for 30 minutes to remove the starch that can sometimes make fries soggy. Next, be sure to dry thoroughly before your seasoning and oil. Lastly, bake at 375º F for 15-20 minutes before turning up the heat to 425º F for another 20-25 minutes more to ensure the golden crispiness you crave!

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Deep Fry

Deep Fried French Fries

Requiring 1 quart of oil per pound of potatoes, deep frying is tricky business, but worth it when the end result are crispy, golden fries! The first step is peeling then cutting your potatoes to thin, 1/4 inch by 1/4 fries. To remove the starch, the fries are then boiled in a water-vinegar mixture for 10 minutes until barely tender. While the potatoes dry, bring oil to 400º F in a large, 5-quart pot. Working in one-third batches, cook fries for 50 seconds then transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Once your first batch is done, repeat the frying process again until fries are crisp and golden brown, about 3 1/2 minutes. After the second deep frying, hit those fries with some salt and let cool slightly before serving!

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Veggie Fries

For anyone looking for a delicious way to prepare your favorite veggies, veggie fries are a fun and delicious option! You can use carrots, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, green beans, root vegetables and jicama, among others. Some recipes use breading to enhance the “crunch” factor and are best prepared in an air fryer or the oven – either way, they are a great way to load up on plant-based fiber, vitamins and minerals!

Try This: Oven Baked Zucchini Fries

Zucchini Fries

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Dressing Them Up

Nacho

Nacho Fries

Nacho lovers rejoice! You can combine your favorite nacho toppings over fries for a filling and indulgent feast! Made with cooked shredded beef, cheddar cheese, jalapeños, green onions, tomatoes, black olives and sour cream over crispy french fries AND tater tots, have this scrumptious skillet ready in under 35 minutes!

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Chili Cheese

Chili Cheese Fries

Using homemade or store-bought, these fries are topped with a number of ingredients sure to fill you up and crush your cravings! This recipe has everything homemade, but you can save some time with a pre-made chili, salsa and fries. Beginning with baking your fries, the next steps are spooning your chili onto the crispy fries, topping with cheese and popping under the broiler (or on the grill) for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.

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Jalapeño Popper

Jalapeño Popper Fries

Cheese is what makes loaded fries “loaded”, and that’s precisely what makes these jalapeño popper fries a must-try! It combines cheddar, mozzarella, sour cream AND cream cheese with delicious ranch dressing seasoning with jalapeños and bacon over thick-cut steak fries. Make it is easy, simply cook your fries until crispy, and layer on your cheese before baking at 400º F until melted before adding your sour cream, cream cheese, ranch and jalapeño mixture and putting back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

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Buffalo Chicken

Buffalo Chicken Fries

Spicy chicken and gooey cheese are the perfect accompaniment to delicious fries! Made-easy with a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, simply combine your chicken with the buffalo sauce, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and ranch seasoning then pile on top of your cooked fries. Top with cheddar cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes until melted and bubbly. Top with additional buffalo sauce, some sour cream and dig in!

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Truffle Parmesan

Truffle Parmesan Fries

A fan-favorite on restaurant menus, you can actually make your own truffle fries at home! All you need are some thin, crispy fries, truffle olive oil, parmesan cheese and parsley! They’re actually surprisingly easy when compared to the other recipes on this list too – just cook your fries and toss them in your oil and parmesan! Bellissimo!

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Carne Asada

Carne Asada Fries

Topped with Mexican-marinated steak, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, jalapeños and sour cream, these carne asada fries make a dinner you don’t want to miss! You can marinate your steak in a classic carne asada blend, or use this recipe’s simplified version, which only requires olive oil, salt and pepper and generic taco seasoning. While your fries are cooking, sear the steak in a skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side, let rest, then cut into cubes to top the fries. To put it all together, bake your fries until crispy, then melt on the cheese, then top with the steak, pico de gallo, guacamole, jalapeños, sour cream, cilantro and dive into that pure deliciousness fork first!

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Philly Cheesesteak

Philly Cheesesteak Fries

Prepared with thick-cut, homemade nugget fries, philly cheesesteak fries make an excellent #GameDay appetizer or fun family meal. You will need a sirloin or top round steak of your choice, onion and bell pepper. Begin by baking your fries until crispy then moving onto the steak. Cut it into strips, season and sear in a skillet with olive oil until browned. When the steak is done, lightly saute the onions and peppers for about 4 minutes and season as desired. Add your steak and peppers on top of the fries and top with cheese before broiling for 2-3 minutes. Other additions to this recipe could be different cheeses, mushrooms, spicy peppers or even cheez wiz right before serving!

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Pizza Fries

Pizza Fries

Change things up on your next pizza night with pizza fries! Made with thick steak fries coated in a delicious combo of Italian spices and herbs, this recipe is as easy as loading your crispy fries up with Italian cheeses like mozzarella, parmesan and asiago, your favorite pizza sauce, and, of course, your favorite pizza toppings. This recipe went with a delicious combo of red and green bell peppers with diced pepperoni. Other toppings that would be great on these pizza fries could be crumbled Italian sausage, spicy peppers like banana or jalapeño, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and anything else you love on pizza!

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Pulled Pork Fries

BBQ Pulled Pork Fries

Whether you make your own pulled pork or pick some pre-made deliciousness, these fries are a barbecue lovers dream. Served over thin, crispy homemade fries, sweet pulled pork with spicy white onion, gooey cheese and green onion bake together marvelously into one pure tray of goodness. Other awesome toppings could be jalapeños, pickled onions, or even cole slaw! YUM x 1000!

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Chicken Bacon Ranch

Chicken Bacon Ranch Fries

Fries seasoned with ranch seasoning then baked until crispy with garlic butter cooked chicken, all melted together with cheese and bacon? Yes please! Chicken bacon ranch anything is a sure-fire win, and that makes these loaded fries pure foodie-gold! Ready in about an hour and 30 minutes, drizzle them with some ranch dressing just before serving for the full-effect.

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Poutine

Fries Poutine

In Canada, poutine is a delicacy, and it’s easy to see why. A beefy brown gravy, that here in the U.S. we only associate with Thanksgiving dinner, is served with soft cheese curds over crispy fries. The first step to this recipe is making the gravy, made from a gourmet combo of vegetables as well as beef and chicken bones. The potatoes are soaked for an hour before frying, then cooling, then frying again for maximum crispiness. To put it all together, lay out your fries, top with the cheese curds and a spoonful of gravy before diving into pure Canadian culinary bliss!

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Do you have a favorite way to enjoy french fries? Tag us with #BestMarket, we would love to see!

August 19, 2020