(Easier) French Fries with Homemade Mayo

Check this out – a new method for making amazing fries with less oil (!) and no need to double (par) fry. I never would have thought of this. It’s rocking my world like the no-knead bread. Except that I don’t eat fries quite as often as I eat bread. In my dreams, maybe.

Yesterday I followed a trail of bread crumbs (fry grease?) to an old Cooks Illustrated post about French fries (this is what happens when I’m supposed to be working) – it seems they burned through about 50 lbs of potatoes to come up with this method, wherein cold potato is set in cold oil in a pot and then brought to a boil together, much like you’d do when boiling potatoes (in water). The crazy part is – there’s apparently less oil in these cold-start fries than in traditional ones. I don’t understand why, but I never did that well in science. And I ditched chemistry for bio.

I’ve been dying to get in the kitchen and try something new, which has been difficult with the dwindling hamper on our dining room table. But I have potatoes! I have oil! I have salt! Giddy-up.

With fries like this, you need a good wobbly homemade mayo. And hey! I have eggs! I have oil! It’s clearly a sign.

So – you can go to see the original recipe at Cooks Illustrated, but it does seem a little wordier than I think it needs to be. (Not suggesting I know more than Cooks Illustrated, of course. But I did streamline it a little.) I didn’t measure my oil, nor my potatoes. I didn’t use bacon fat (although that does seem worth a try, don’t you think?). I cut two potatoes (unpeeled) into even sticks and put them in a pot, and covered them with canola oil. I did as I was told and covered the pot to bring it to a boil, which did indeed take about 5 minutes, but then I took the lid off (there’s condensation there – you don’t want that in your oil) and let it bubble away. It was odd, like I was boiling potatoes, only with oil. I didn’t wait to give them a stir though-I did so at about 10 minutes. Not sure what the difference is.

Anyway, in about 20 minutes they were beautiful and golden, and I took them out to drain on paper towels and showered them with salt. They had a lovely texture.

And mayo. I’ll send you over to Delicious Days – they have a wonderful tutorial.

(And our friends/neighbours brought over lilacs! How gorgeous are these?)


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26 comments on “(Easier) French Fries with Homemade Mayo

  1. Angela
    June 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    The same method was featured today on Americas test kitchens. They looked delish and sounded really crunchy Yumm!

  2. Jaime
    June 5, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Genius! Now I am starving.

  3. Erin M
    June 6, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Fries! I wish 🙂 Look delicious!

  4. Rambles with Reese
    June 6, 2010 at 2:05 am

    These look great. I’m always making homemade french fries…however, knowing that the oil part isn’t so great for my health. I will definitely try this out.

    Cheers for the tip!

    Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

  5. bellini valli
    June 6, 2010 at 5:04 am

    I am always looking for ways to perfect my favourite tuber the potato.

  6. Denise
    June 6, 2010 at 5:41 am

    The lilacs are beautiful…what a beautiful bouquet! I’ve been enjoying reading about your use of the food from the hamper. A cookbook of those recipes could be shared with the food banks across Canada…

  7. Wendy (The Local Cook)
    June 6, 2010 at 5:51 am

    I had to check out your bio, which confirmed my suspicions – mayo with fries = Canadian LOL. Gimme ketchup!

  8. JulieVR
    June 6, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Wendy – yes, busted! Is it a Canadian thing? It’s even more a Belgian thing – my Dad is from Belgium! They’re famous for their fries, served with a slightly mustardy sort of mayo. Yum.

  9. Sue (London, ON)
    June 6, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I don’t think its a Canadian thing. Isn’t it a Brittish thing?

  10. lauren
    June 6, 2010 at 8:52 am

    well, I know what I’ll be making this afternoon…..

  11. Elaine
    June 6, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I think mayo with fries is like the metric system–it’s an “everywhere but America” thing. And many places in the States do offer frites with aioli. Love it!

  12. Erica B.
    June 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Mmmm fries – they look fantastic Julie. I think Elaine was right – mayo on fries is pretty widespread except maybe in the US. I’ve seen it on menus from here to Quebec city, and the Belgian and French students I went to Uni with were mayo & frites fans too. Love it! (even if my hips don’t 😉 )

  13. robyn
    June 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I’m pretty sure it’s a Belgian and Dutch thing….maybe Wikipedia knows? 🙂

  14. Alison
    June 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Perfect timing! I must try this, and my fat-fearing husband is out of town. Mmmm, french fries…

  15. Carolyn
    June 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    These look awesome – I’ve never made anything deep fried, but I’m tempted with these. Stupid question — after making the fries is the oil reusable for something else?

  16. Sharlene
    June 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I am definitely a fries with mayo kinda gal and I’m not from Canada or anywhere in Europe! Saw it on the Food Network once with Paula Deen and have been hooked ever since.

  17. Sini
    June 7, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Wow! Never thoght about making fries like that! Boiling them in oil sounds really weird but I definitely need to give it a try.

    I always make my fries in the oven and think they are better (and so much healthier!) than those oily fried ones.

  18. Rachel
    June 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

    The fries look delicious but I’ll take mine without mayo please. I am so not a fan of mayo ‘cept for the slightest amount in my tuna because that’s the only way I know how to make it.

    The lilacs are beautiful!

  19. Vivian
    June 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    A new french fry method I must try. I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found out about the double fry technique. Ketchup, aioli, it doesn’t much matter to me although I never heard of mayo with fries until only a few years ago and I am a true-blue, bred in the bone, Edmonton-born Canuck!

    Those lilacs are gorgeous…what is the name of the ones with the white edging? As a painter of still lifes, I love any flower/plant that differentiates itself in an arrangement…picotee (begonias) or whatever. (Perhaps your neighbour would share a “clump” with me?! I’d come down to pick it up and we could have…chai…cappuccino…I’d bring snackeroos?

  20. Barb
    June 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I love lilacs. They look and smell beautiful. They last much longer left on the bush, however. I’m not sure how long they would take to paint but maybe going from a picture would be better? Anyway….
    the fries look very good. I’m not sure I would be brace enough to try them or not. I usually bake mine.

  21. JulieVR
    June 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Yes, I usually bake mine too. But it’s funny, the stigma of “fried” fries vs baked, when they contain exactly the same ingredients- potatoes and canola oil! The only difference is presumably quantity of oil (and I know plenty who bake theirs with a ton of it) in the finished fry. In one you coat them with it and bake, in the other you submerge them in it and drain. Interesting how drastically different the end product is received!

  22. Janice
    June 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I made these tonight. I used half sweet potato and half white potato – they were AMAZING! I think I cut mine a little small though, they were lovely and golden in about 15 minutes. Mmmmm. Given that I live 20 minutes from the nearest place to pick up fries “in a hurry” this will be my go-to (but I need to pick up more canola oil now).

  23. Walter, Guelph, Ontario
    July 9, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Wendy, it is not a Canadian thing! It’s a Dutch and Belgian thing. We are the fries and gravy country not Mayo. Actually it really isn’t mayo, it’s called frit sauce but resembles mayo.

  24. Barbarainnc
    July 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I had used this method since reading about it in Cooks Illustrated. I just wash and slice russets into french fry size,put them in my Fry Baby,plug it in and let them go until golden brown.I don’t put on a lid to hurry up the process.
    Sometimes I double fry them. This is so much easier than waiting for the grease to heat up. Matter of fact I made potatoes this way tonight. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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