Friday, May 29, 2009


I retained only three words from my seventh grade French class: pomme de terre. Potato, for those of you who chose Spanish for your language requirement. Little did I know how many times I would use that phrase on my first journey to the city of lights. Day one in gay Paris I sauntered into a charming cafe along the Champs-Elysees and thought the sign at the front read "seat yourself" so, of course, I did. In a New York minute a surly waitress approached me and asked, "c'est quoi qu'tu fais?" to which I smiled and replied, "un pomme de terre, merci!" Proud of my newfound fluent tongue, I was shocked when quickly escorted out of the front door. The sign actually read "Private Party" and the waitress wasn't inquiring about my hunger level, rather wondering what on earth I was doing. A reply of "Potato" apparently wasn't appropriate. A few days ago on the other side of the pond, while filling out paperwork to be a contestant on the "Biggest Loser," my growling stomach was met with something else nasty and French. Joe, mocking my winter weight gain, decided to make a giant plate of French Fries for lunch, promising it was a healthy version of my favorite indulgence. While I dove into this delicious feast face-first, I still don't believe him....but oooo la la, were they ever good!
Joe claims these are healthy (because they're made with Peanut oil) so I'm not asking any questions. This is a fast, easy delicious recipe so give it a fry this weekend! (from our favorite, Cooks Illustrated July & August issue)
1.) 2.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed, dried, sides squared off and cut length wise.
2.) 6 cups peanut oil (vegetable or canola oil can also be used)
3.) Combine potatoes and oil in large dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil has reached rolling boil, about five minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 15 minutes.
4.) Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick and continue cooking until golden and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to thick paper back or paper towels. Season with salt and serve.
COST: $3.50 for sack of potatoes
STRESS LEVEL: If they're really healthy, LOW, if not HIGH