This Is What I Grew Them For

Frietjes, Frites, Belgian Fries.

The Bintje, a very popular European potato but virtually unknown here in the States, is the best potato for fries. It has a starch solid content of about 20%, so it’s neither waxy nor floury. So what you do to bring out the best in it, is fry it twice.

Fry them in small batches in a deep-fryer, first at 320 F (or 160 C), for about 5 to 10 minutes – remove at the first sign of browning. It will come out looking like this:

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Pretty greasy, but cooked through and soft. You gently dab off the grease with a paper towel – this is perhaps the only use for a paper towel in our house. Then you let them rest, preferably for a couple of hours. At this point you can freeze them and proceed on to the next stage whenever you want (I find that three months in the freezer is the limit).

Then you fry them at 375 F (190 C) for a minute or two, until they’re nicely brown and crisp.

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The thing is, if you do this with a Russet or Idaho or Yukon Gold, it won’t work. The fries will stick to the frying net, they’ll get all mealy and won’t become crisp on the outside, and won’t taste of anything but the oil.

I had mine with an omelet and a dab of mayo. I know! Don’t worry, what with our Bintje harvest, we’ll only have two of these cholesterol laden meals this year, because if there are no Bintjes, there will be no fries.

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