Les Vraies Frites
The French say they invented 'frites', the Belgians also
claim the bragging rights; who knows? But frites are today a key part of French
culture and its cuisine. Here is a simple recipe from northern France.
There are different kinds of frites, which vary in
thickness. The very thin ones are Pommes allumettes, or matchsticks. But the
traditional recipe is for frites that are about 5mm thick, called Pommes
Pont-Neuf, named it is said after the famous Parisian bridge on which they are
supposed to have first been sold, a short while before the French Revolution in
1 kg of starchy potatoes (King Edwards will do fine)
oil for cooking, either in a deep frying pan or in a
Salt to taste
1. Cut the potatoes into 'chips' about 5mm thick [if you
have a mandolin you may be able to set the thickness so that at the very least
you get the first potato slice right, although the rest will have to be done by
2. Put all the chips in a bowl of water and cover and set
aside for about an hour to remove some of the starch.
3. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with a cloth, and
divide into batches of equal size.
4. Bring the oil to 150°C/300°F, and fry the chips in
batches for about 7 minutes each batch.
5. Set aside the batches as you do them, and let them cool
for about 30 minutes; putting them in the fridge will help.
6. Increase the oil temperature to 180°C/350°F, and again
fry the chips in batches, this time for about 3-5 minutes until they are
golden. Transfer each batch when cooked into a bowl lined with a paper kitchen
towel, to drain.
7. Serve immediately; they will take a lot of salt at this