I've tried several oven baked french fries recipes, and was severely disappointed. I always got burnt black fries. I tried so hard to not resort to frying them in oil...but I'm glad I tried. They came out so perfectly crunchy and fluffy in the inside. Just like McDonald's fries. I'm a healthy eater, and I don't eat fried things very often. I like to indulge myself every now and then.
After checking out lots of recipes, it was like a battle to who has the best technique. Many baked the fries first, then fried. Others fried the potatoes twice in oil. I decided to try the blanch in boiling water, and then fry in oil method because I thought it was the easiest.
Lots of potatoes. Preferably the russet kind. I would say 1 nice sized russet potato per person.
Water for blanching, in a deep pot
Oil for frying, in a deep pot or in a fryer
Peel your potatoes if you want, or leave the skin on. Cut the potatoes into french fry pieces. If you have a mandolin slicer, it makes the job quicker. If you don't, its easy to slice the potato along its longest side, then take each slice and cut it into long fries. The most important thing is to try and cut each fry as uniform in size as possible, so they all cook evenly. This is easy to do, just a little time consuming.
Wash the fries in some water. Swish them around, and drain out the starchy water. Soak the fries in some water, for 20 minutes.
Lastly, soak the fries in some fresh water, with some salt added to it to help bring out excess moisture in the potatoes. Soak for 10 minutes. Bring a huge pot of water to a boil with a little bit of salt, just like when you make pasta.
Total soak time is 30 minutes. Drain off the water.
Blanch your fries in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Do not go over the 5 minutes or they will fall apart. This step essentially cooks the fries.
Remove the hot, blanched fries onto a flat surface covered with paper towels to absorb the water off the potatoes. I got a large cookie sheet, and covered it with the paper towels. You will see that since they are very hot, the water evaporates off the fries quickly.
Let the fries cool down to room temperature. After they come to room temperature you can fry them, or put them in the freezer to fry at a later time. I like to make a huge batch of fries, so I can freeze some of it for later use.
Make sure the fries are dry before you fry them.
Now its time to fry the fries in some oil. Get your oil hot and ready. Fry in small batches so the fries get nice a crispy. Do not over crowd the oil with fries, or they get soggy. I fried mine for 5 minutes and they were perfectly golden and crispy.
As always, remove the fried fries onto a plate with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Then sprinkle with salt to taste. I like lots of salt on mine.
Look at them, so perfectly golden. My husband loved them. Enjoy!