Garlic cloves give added dimension to fresh hot fries.
Nigella Lawson adds garlic cloves to give dimension to fresh hot fries.
- 2-1/4 lbs waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
- 1-1/2 quarts corn oil or vegetable oil, for frying
- Unpeeled cloves from 1 head garlic
- 8 tender top sprigs thyme, rosemary and sage or herbs of your choice
- Kosher salt, to taste
1 Cut the short ends off each potato (but don’t peel) so that it can sit up vertically, and then slice it downward into generous ½-inch slices. Cut these slices into fries about ½ inch thick; again, err on the generous side. Load up a clean dishcloth with the fries as you cut them.
2 Put the oil into a wide, heavy pan (mine is approximately 11 inches in diameter and 4-½ inches deep), and add the freshly cut potatoes. Then put the pan over a high heat and bring to a boil, which should take about 5 minutes. Keep a careful watch on the pan.
3 Continue to cook the fries, without stirring them, for another 15 minutes. The pan will be bubbling vigorously. If the oil gets too hot or bubbles too hard, reduce the heat a little, and always keep a close eye on it. (If you’re using a thermometer, once the oil temperature reaches 325°F, turn down the heat slightly and keep the fries cooking at between 300°F and 325°F.)
4 Now you can very carefully give the fries a gentle stir with a pair of tongs held in an oven mitt, moving away any that have stuck to the bottom or sides of the pan.
5 Add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the pan, stir gently again, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes (watching the temperature and making sure the garlic doesn’t look burnt or the fries too dark), before testing a fry for crispness on the outside and tenderness on the inside. Do not burn your mouth, though! You might need another 5 minutes or so beyond this, but stand by your pan: the fries can turn from a cooked gold to a burnt bronze quickly.
6 At the point when the fries are pale gold, but crisp, toss in the herbs, then after a minute or so scoop everything out – using a couple of perforated scoops for ease, and wearing oven mitts to protect your hands – onto a baking sheet or platter lined with a double thickness of paper towels.
7 Once any excess oil has been absorbed, tip the fries off the tray clatteringly onto the plate and sprinkle with the salt, serving immediately.
Prep and cook time: 50 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6.
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Excerpted from Nigellissima. Copyright © 2013 Nigella Lawson. Published by Knopf Canada, an imprint of the Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group, which is a division of Random House of Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.