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French Fries

Fat chance!

We were not sure about including a recipe for French Fries in that there are so many in other books. But if that is so why do we suffer through so many ORDINARY fries out there? I have been loving and eating Janets french fries about 12 years longer than Justin has. And that is due to his arriving on the French Fry scene here took being born first. I had her home-made, hand made fries in her parents home while she was still in high school. Never have I had better.

Norman and Justin Van Aken, 2012, “My Key West Kitchen”

Serves 4

1 ½ pounds “Idaho” a.k.a. russet potatoes

peanut or canola oil, (can be used several times), as needed

kosher salt

Scrub the potatoes in cold water and pat them dry.

Cut the potato leaving the skins on. Put them a bowl of cold water for at least a half hour and as long as overnight. Lift them out of the water with your two hands. Dry them on a towel before frying them.

Fill a heavy pot not more than just past half way up with the oil. This is a safer method than a too full pot.

Using a deep-fry thermometer bring the oil to about 200 degrees. We don’t use a fryer basket but you surely can. Lower the fries into the oil. (If using a basket lower it sans fries first to prevent sticking. Then add the fries and lower them in). Allow them too cook about 15 minutes and are somewhat limp if you lift them a bit. Keep the oil temp steady adjusting as need be.

Lift them out and place them on a tray with plenty of absorbent toweling.

When you are ready to serve turn up the heat a bit and allow the oil to come to 360 degrees. Lower the fries into the hotter oil. Stir gently.

Change out the absorbent toweling.

Cook about one minute and they are golden brown.

Lift out again when the potatoes look crispy. Place them on the toweling.

Season with salt, (and pepper if desired..we don’t). Shake them around to distribute the seasoning well.


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Norman Van Aken has been described as legendary, visionary and a trailblazer. He is known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.