Tortilla Chips and French Fries
We got our stuff out.
The first thing is to get the oil ready. Use plenty of oil. I am in the process of rotating some of the things in my pantry and one of the items was a tub of Crisco Buttery Flavor Shortening. That stuff is great for pie crusts, but, there was an unopened tub behind this one, and I wasn't sure how long it had been there, so I figured "Perfect use."
If using a solid type of fat, I recommend doubling the melted volume of the shortening, or prepared french fryer goop with something lighter and able to withstand higher temperatures like peanut oil. You want to bring it to 375°.
While the oil is coming up to temp cut your tortillas into wedges of eight to a disc.
Scrub your potatoes, and cut them lengthwise into strips. I'm not fanatical about even sizings here, as a matter of fact, I enjoy the contrasts provided in texture and crunch by mixing up thickness and length.
When the oil is hot enough, we went for the chips first.
Get them into the oil, without splashing yourself. Notice that I'm using a pot that is nearly twice as big as the volume of oil. This makes things a bit safer, and when mixing things like boiling oil and twelve year olds, safer is always the way to go. They will float up and start to brown, when they are a uniform, light golden brown transfer to a paper towel lined bowl, salt lightly with kosher salt and go to town. These are much less greasy, far more crisp than commercially made chips. These are food, they taste like food. (note: I just did a quick search of my archives for a salsa bandera recipe and couldn't find one, I promise to post that very soon.)
Now it's time for the potatoes. This is a two step process. The first dunking in oil is done until the outside faces of the fries begin to skin up, and the edges are turning lightly brown. Remove from the oil and drain throroughly.
Then, after they have drained and cooled put them back into the fry to crisp and brown. This is the secret to making your own french fries. The first frying will cook them through completely, the second frying will bring them to that crispy outside texture which contains the wonderful potato stuff inside.
Again, dust lightly with kosher salt and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce. (Being a traditional kid, the nephew went for ketchup, while I went with a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of ketchup and tapatio). If you want the classic Pommes Frite Parisien you can toss them with sea salt, parsley flakes and crumbled bleu cheese.
Summer's here folks! It's a wonderful time to be in the kitchen with kids.