Belgian Fries (Pommes Frites)
- Ready In:
- Pour enough oil into a deep fryer to reach at least halfway up the sides of the pan but not more than three-quarters of the way up. Heat oil to 325°F.
- Cut the potatoes into sticks 1/2 inch wide and 2-1/2 to 3 inches long. Dry all the the pieces thoroughly in a clean dish towel. This will keep the oil from splattering. Divide the potato sticks into batches of no more than 1 cup each. Do not fry more than one batch at a time.
- When the oil has reached the desired temperature, fry the potatoes for 4 or 5 minutes per batch. They should be lightly colored but not browned. If fryer has a basket, simply lift it out to remove the fried potatoes. Otherwise, use a long-handled skimmer to lift out the potatoes. Be sure to bring the temperature of the oil back to 325°F in between the batches. At this point the frites can rest for several hours at room temperature until you are almost ready to serve them.
- Just prior to eating, heat the oil to 375°F Fry the potatoes in 1-cup batches until they are nicely browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Drain on fresh paper towels or brown paper bags and place in a warmed serving bowl lined with more paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve. Never cover the potatoes to keep them hot as they will immediately turn soft and limp. If you are inclined to perfectionism, leave some potatoes to fry halfway through the meal so you can serve them crisp and hot.
RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
My most cherished cookbook is Ruth Van Waerebeek's Everybody Eats Well in Belgium. It has been my inspiration for most of our family's special occasions and holiday meals and it was through exploring this book that cooking and entertaining became such a pleasurable hobby for me. The book is out of print, but I contacted Ruth to express my appreciation and ask her permission to include her recipes here. In her words: "My main concern when I wrote this book, was exactly that, that people around the globe would be able to taste these wonderful Belgian flavors! So, I don't have any objection that you post the recipes on the web."