Saturday, October 6, 2012

Matchstick Fries & the end of my first week of blogging!

And we're back to savory again!

Here's something about me: I have a fear of deep frying.

It's not so much that I'm scared I will accidentally burn myself with hot oil, it's more to do with the fact that I'm terrified of emptying half a bottle of oil into a pot just to cook something.

Let's not be mistaken here - I love deep fried foods.  All of them.  It remains my ultimate food dream to one day be able to try deep fried butter.  But it's one thing to eat the food, it's another thing to actually cook it.  And it's a lot easier to ignore the whole calories/fat/heart attacks/general unhealthiness of deep frying if I don't have to do it myself.

But then the chip shop near my house closed down.  They made those amazingly fat chips with a golden crispy coating that encases pale potato fluffiness, with the whole thing drenched in chicken salt.  It was comfort food at its finest.  I mourned.

So I had to find a replacement.  And I had the idea to try cooking them myself.  The problem was that ever-present terrifying fear. 

I decided to switch tactics.  I would fry some chips, but I'd do a tiny batch, use as little oil as possible, and I'd try with skinnier chips so they would have a better chance of coming out crisp and evenly cooked.

The first time failed spectacularly.  The fries came out soggy and wet and just generally unappetizing.

And then I came across this.  And I bought a potato.  And I tried it.  And it all ended up in my tummy.

It's a good first step, I feel.

Matchstick Fries
Adapted from The Tart Tart

Note: Yes, I know, my fries are nowhere near as thin or as matchstick-like as they are meant to be because I was losing patience cutting so finely and I didn't want to accidentally lose a finger.  They turned out crisp and crunchy anyway, a bit like McDonald's fries.  But if you've got a mandolin, this would be a great place to use it.

Vegetable or Canola Oil
1 potato

Slice the potato up into matchstick shapes with a sharp knife.  Pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any moisture.

Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a small saucepan with steep sides (the smaller the saucepan, the less oil you need to use.  But keep in mind that you should still have a decent surface area.  It's also unhealthy to reuse oil multiple times, but it's not like this recipe is the epitome of healthy eating anyway!).  When the oil starts to shimmer, drop in a small handful of potatoes - enough so that it's full, but not overcrowding it, cooking in batches if necessary.  Cook until they become crisp and golden with brown edges, about 5 minutes.  

Remove and drain on paper towels.  Season liberally with salt (and vinegar, if you like).  Enjoy!

...And that's my first week of food blogging done with!  One week of consecutive posts, nonstop layout editing, setting up feeds and editing photos.  Whew, I need a break.  Just one thing: there is now a subscribe button on the left sidebar, it would mean so much to me if you'd just drop your email in so I can start knowing my readers!  I would also be so grateful if you'd leave a comment as well for encouragement!  

Now if you'll excuse me, I've forgotten what the outside world looks like...

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