Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First Deep Fryer Trial

One Sunday, I decided to put two new kitchen gadgets to use at once. That is the multi chopper (see the outlet post for a picture) and the 3.5 liter Bella Cucina Deep Fryer. What better than french fries to christen these two items.

I bought a bag of Idaho potatoes, scrubbed them and put them right into the chopper. I didn't have the best leverage to get the potatoes through the chopper on the counter, so my husband made all the fries as I washed the potatoes. I left the skins on because I prefer it that way and it doesn't hurt that it saves me the time of peeling all those potatoes!

I preheated the fryer to 325 and submerged each batch in the oil for about 10-12 minutes. This step cooks the potatoes all the way through, but does not result in the crunchiness associated with french fries. This is a blanching step, but unlike blanching most other vegetables in boiling water, it is done in oil. I drained the fries and turned the heat up to 375 for the final cooking.

The good thing about the double frying is that the first one can be completed and the fries stored in the fridge or freezer until the next step. This is how it is often done in a restaurant setting, according to my Professional Cooking Textbook.

The second frying is much shorter, just enough to get a pale golden color on the fries. For crunchier fries, they can be left in the oil longer. This took about 5 minutes in my fryer, though the time is slightly variable depending on how full the frying basket is. The more fries in the basket, the longer it takes. The temperature drops further when more fries are present, and it takes a bit longer to cook all the fries through to the desired doneness when there are more in the basket.

After draining and a toss in salt, the first french fry experiment was complete...and tasty! It will take a few tries to get a good feel for the exact times for frying, but keeping an eye on it worked well enough.

Since the bag of potatoes was 5 pounds, there were quite a few fries left over. Most of the leftovers were stored in the fridge after the first frying (possibly to be frozen). The double fried fries were placed in an airtight container overnight. We reheated them in a 425F oven until crispy. I wasn't paying enough attention so they got a little crispier than I wanted, but they were still good.

So the first time for both the fryer and the chopper went really smoothly. I think the only snag left is finding a container to dispose of the used cooking oil. I will see what I can find. But other than that, I think both are great additions to my kitchen...now I just need to find a place to store them both!!!

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