The fries are tough. Against all reasoned health warnings. Adaptable to different times and styles of food. An invader who took the world. At the table we want it perfect. We have the recipe.
It is here, before we set out to find the perfect fried potato, the one that wants to crumble on the outside, almost crudely, and soft inside, to make a warning. The fries is that, a fried. Do not enjoy a healthy diet, should be consumed in moderation and fried in a good food oil. Nothing that has not already been our object of alert, for example on here.
Well, if you take the warning, read the hyperlink, and if you continue to walk on these lines, do you really want to know how cooks, scientists, gastronomists, to name just a few actors in this story, have been discussing potato philosophy for decades?
Before embarking on fried foods, let us look for the origin of this inseparable friend of the little bifinho, of some mussels (the Belgians that say it), of a fried fish (matter in which Great Britain is expert).
It is said that by the seventeenth century, in the Netherlands (in the area currently covered by Belgium) the population enjoyed the frying of the potato, a tuber that had reached Europe two centuries before, from the Americas.
From eighteenth-century France we get records of potato chip recipes. It will not be surprising, therefore, that in many countries the reference to the snack is called french fries.
A dispute over the paternity of the French fries where also enters Spain, country that received first the potato of the New World. It will have been in our brothers that the oil fried for the first time with the potato, common practice in Mediterranean cooking.
Closer temporarily, we will realize that the potato in chip, packaged and industrial, so associated with fast food, is not an invention of the country that gave the World the fast food, North America. The industrial chips, is the work of the Old Continent. It was conceived in the British Isles around 1914 and was possibly invented by a French immigrant named Cartier.
Its commercialization began in 1920 by Frank Smith, who installed his fryers in a garage, in the back of a bar. It is believed that the merchant was more successful with the new pit, than with the tuning of the engines of the great novelty of the time, the automobile.
It's the chemistry frenzy that makes our little potato
Let's see, then, how the fry is processed. The surface of the potato, moist, will violently come into contact with a boiling oil. A heat shock that immediately evaporates all moisture and creates a caramelized and sweetened crust (due to the presence of starch) on the surface of the tuber.
This surface, hardened, because inside our little potato there is a frenzy of water vapor that strikes the outer shell. It can not be released and, as a consequence, it fills the potato pulp that is soft. Let us suppose that this water vapor found a way to freedom. Bad omen for the potato would continue to receive moisture outside which would compromise the fry. And with these convulsions of chemistry we get the toothpicks that vitiate the world (or part of it) hundreds of years ago.
The best potato to fry and how to prepare
An excellent potato for frying is quality Asterix, that of bark slightly pink. Cut the tubers into sticks, but not too thin. The ideal thickness? Two centimeters. Do not appreciate, the potatoes are not ready for a hot bath in oil. We will remove the excess starch and, for this, we give them a bath (of soaking) of cold water for five minutes. We changed the water two to three times, maintaining the indicated time between each exchange. After the shower dry the potatoes on absorbent paper or on a clean kitchen cloth.
Fry how many times?
One, two, even three, as the kitchen monster defends, British boss Heston Blumenthal. The world of gastronomy is not consensual at this point.
Considering the average of opinions among chefs, gourmets and even scientists, let's take the two fritters as ideal. One in moderately heated vegetable oil (160 ° C for seven minutes); the second in boiling vegetable oil (190 ° C for one minute). The first gives a boost to the baking of the interior of the potato, the second will seal it and create the caramelized wrap. Between the two fries, let the potatoes cool. You can even take them to the cold of the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
You're ready for our fries. Seasoning only at the end. And do it with style, for example with a flavored salt. Add 50 g of fine salt, 15 g of rosemary, 15 g of dry thyme, 15 g of black pepper, ground in height. Sprinkle the potatoes with this mixture and preserve the rest.
Finally, the cooking and the frying. Yes or no?
There are those who argue that cooking in boiling water and a subsequent frying, will guarantee the best qualities in our fried potatoes. Fact countered by some chefs who claim not to get the potato crisp under these conditions.
Regardless of the number of fried foods, preferring potatoes to slices, in sticks, rustic without removing the bark, one or two fry, it is good to test. It will not be the first attempt you get the potato that takes you to heaven. But in the kitchen as in everything in life, persistence is a winner.