I recall the one time Dad cooked dinner for us when we were children, I was about five years old. Yes it was the one and only time I recall that he had to cook dinner because Mom was away. Where I come from in Zambia, Dads typically do not step in the kitchen to perform household duties such as cooking and cleaning. That’s just the way it is but this one time it happened and I hold fond memories because for once, we were freed from eating the routine square meals which involved Nshima and meats such as chicken and vegetables. We were allowed to indulge in the pleasures of a meal which we only ate either at breakfast on rare occasions or when we went out to a takeout place (fast food). And so he made us French Fries. We called then chips, what child does not love chips? I could have lived on chips for the rest of my life!!!
In my adult life, Dad has cooked for me many times I cannot even count. There have been times when I come back home from work to find some freshly cooked Nshima and the works waiting for me. I am not sure if it is the changing of the times and culture but I love it. It is a gesture of love for a parent to do what is not culturally required or expected of them and to do it well. Happy Father’s day to my Daddy.
To come up with the perfect Double Fried Crispy French Fries recipe, I combined and modified two very similar recipes from the Food and Wine Magazine. I eliminated the boiling step from April Bloomfield’s recipe which saved a lot of time but incorporated the cooling process into Dian Sturgis’ recipe which I believe helps with the crispness. I have also shortened the cooking time by keeping the heating on high temperature while cooking. These Double Fried Crispy French Fries are so amazingly crispy even left over continue to be crispy on the next day.
Prep Time: 20 min Waiting time: 1 hour Serves: 4 people
-2 Lb. Russet Potatoes (apx. 3 large potatoes)
-4 cups vegetable cooking oil
-Salt to taste
-Ketchup (optional for serving)
- Wash the potatoes with warm water. Do not peel the potatoes.
- Using a chef’s knife, chop each potato first by slicing it length wise into half and then quarters. Then cut into French fry pieces (and transfer into a bowl of water to avoid the change of color) before proceeding to cut the rest of the potatoes.
- Remove French fry pieces from the bowl of water and spread on a tray. Blot pieces with a paper towel to dry.
- Place tray in the fridge to chill the fries for at least 1 hour before frying.
- Heat the oil in a skillet to 340 F. Remove fries from fridge, divide into 3 batches and place the first batch in the hot oil. Cook on high temperature for 10 minutes or until the fries start to brown. Quickly remove the fries from the oil and turn off the heat. Let fries cool down for about 5 minutes.
- Reheat oil in skillet to 380 F. Reintroduce the fries to the oil this time cooking for only 1- 2 minutes or until they are golden brown. Quickly remove the fries from the oil and place them on a rack lined with a paper towel to drain the oil.
- Sprinkle salt to taste and server. In the main picture, I served the French fries for Brunch and accompanied them with a fried egg, the North African Cucumber Salad and a glass of orange juice. Enjoy!!!