Fries Recipe: A Process of Trial and Error
After having some really nice fries from Balkony Cafe, I decided to make my own fries with the hope of recreating it as a side for my homemade chicken burger (the recipe for this can be found in a different post). I expected fries to be relatively easy to cook up but experienced a multitude of problems along the way. As many of you were interested in my cooking failures, I will bring you through the process of achieving my fries recipe through trial and error.
Trial #1: Air Frying
For my first trial, I decided to make the fries healthier and when I did some research on the internet, I found that fries could be air fried and still turn out delicious so I set out to do the same. I first washed and scrubbed my potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt. I then cut my potatoes into thick chunks and soaked them in salted water for 30 minutes. Following this, I dried the cut potatoes with some paper towels and added a little oil and salt. I set the temperature and time according to the air fryer recommendations and added 1/3 of the fries into the air fryer making sure to flip them halfway through.
I was extremely disappointed to find that my fries were soggy, the skin on the potaoes were wrinkly and even when I had sprinkled more salt on the potatoes, it tasted extremely bland. Furthermore, my fries had a distasteful brown colour and tasted rather burnt despite following the recommendations for my air fryer. So I froze the rest of my fries and decided to try another method the next day.
Trial #2: Deep Frying
This time I decided to deep fry my fries as I didn’t think it would be possible to achieve the crispy outer texture that I love so much. I took the rest of my fries out the freezer and let them defrost. Meanwhile, I added some oil into a frying pan and heat it up. The oil was ready when small bubbles formed around a chopstick that I inserted into the oil. I dried my fries thoroughly and inserted them into the pan. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. Oil ended up splattering everywhere and onto myself so I had to turn the heat off. I thought maybe I hadn’t dried the fries enough or perhaps the heat was on too high so I dried them once more, making sure there was no residual water and I lowered the heat. However, the same thing happened where oil splattered everywhere. I didn’t even manage to take any pictures as the whole situation was hectic and stressful.
Other than the dangers of splattering oil, I ended up with a messy kitchen, minor burns on my hands and the fries were again soggy and bland.
Trial #3: Deep Frying with Corn Starch
I thought about how I could overcome the problem of the spattering oil but felt that coating the potatoes in regular flour would just turn my fries lumpy. I happened to see some corn starch lying on my kitchen counter and decided to give that a try. While I reheated my pan of oil, I added the corn starch to a bowl and mixed in some garlic salt. I tossed the last remaining potatoes into the mixture and added them into the pan once the oil was hot. This time, no oil spattered anywhere. Once they were removed from the oil, I sprinkled on a little more garlic salt, some black pepper and mixed herbs.
I ended up with golden-brown fries with a crispy outer layer and a fluffy inside. As the garlic salt was added to the corn starch, the potatoes were nicely salted. The addition of mixed herbs also gave the potatoes a pleasant aroma.
I had finally managed to create fries that I was hoping for. However, that being said, I still felt that the inside of the fries weren’t as fluffy as the ones from Balkony cafe and they still weren’t as well seasoned throughout. Therefore, if I were to recreate this recipe again, I would ensure that I soak my potatoes for longer than 30 minutes and perhaps use a different type of potato like Russet potatoes which are more suitable for deep frying. If you would like to recreate this, the full recipe and method for creating these fries can be found below.
- 3 potatoes (I used Holland potatoes)
- Black pepper
- Cooking oil (one with a high smoking point)
- Corn starch
- Garlic salt (optional)
- Mixed herbs (optional)
- Wash and scrub off dirt from your potatoes and cut them into even sized chunky strips. You can remove the skin if you’d like but I kept mine on.
- Soak the cut potatoes in to some salted water for 30 minutes. Ensure that the water is enough to submerge your potatoes.
- Add some cornstarch into a bowl together with a teaspoon of garlic salt. Mix thoroughly. Ensure that this cornstarch mixture is enough to evenly coat your potatoes.
- When the potatoes are done soaking, remove them from the salted water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.
- Toss the potatoes in the cornstarch mixture and ensure every side is evenly coated.
- Pour oil into a deep pan and turn the heat on high. If bubbles form around the pan and around a chopstick inserted into the oil, it is hot enough for frying.
- Add the potatoes into the pan but do not overcrowd it to avoid the potaoes sticking. Flip the potatoes regularly.
- Remove from heat and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. While still hot, sprinkle a pinch of garlic salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Mix thoroughly and serve.