I started to experiment with different techniques for making french fries with my new deep fryer. On America’s Test Kitchen, I saw them make fries by putting the cut potatoes in cold (yes, cold) oil, and heating it up to temperature, and frying until they reach a nice golden color. I tried this first, and it worked nicely. I removed the fries when they reached a light golden color, and they fries were nice and crisp. My fryer is a little small, so I finished out the other batches by placing them in approximately 350 degree temperature oil. These were acceptable, but certainly not as crisp as the cold oil fries. You may also use a nice, deep, heavy pot (like Le Creuset) with a thermometer instead of a deep fryer.
This next one is my favorite. After making the Lucques-inspired steak frites, I wanted to try throwing in some fresh rosemary and sage leaves with the fries like they do at Lucques and Tavern. I was browsing through my cookbooks and I found a recipe in Saveur Cooks Authentic American: Celebrating the Recipes and Diverse Traditions of Our Rich Heritage, for nice, dark, double fried fries. First you fry the potatoes (after cutting I place them in cold water, and dry them in a kitchen towel just before frying) in oil at 325 degrees for about 3 or 4 minutes. You just want to cook the potato, not brown them. At the very first sign of color, remove them to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. You may do this step well ahead of time, and the second fry right before serving. heat the oil to 375, and fry them for the second time (adding the herbs at this point if you like) for a couple of minutes until they reach a nice deep golden brown. These were the best of the three, for sure. Real, restaurant quality fries in your own home.