Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Homemade Carcinogenic French Fries!

Throwing caution to the wind, I made some carcinogenic food last night.

Yup, I made french fries.

In case you haven't heard, there was headline making news the other day about how our state's Attorney General is suing potato chip and french fry producers into warning consumers about a potential cancer-causing chemical called acrylamide found in their products.

The acrylamide warning sirens were set off a few years ago by the FDA, which basically makes a meal of burger and fries just about one of the deadliest things you can eat.

Wait a sec! What about the burger, you ask!? Well, as if you didn't have to worry about the fat and cholesterol already, there's a chance that you could be eating Mad Cow beef and that the chargrilled meat itself can give you rectal cancer!

Makes you want to eat just fish for the rest of your life, doesn't it? That is, until you remember that the fish could contain mercury, PCBs, dioxins, and pesticides.

This only reiterates what I've always thought: "Living is dangerous to your health".

Okay, well enough proselytizing from me about that subject, and more about how I made really good homemade fries!

How's that for lead-in!?

I started off with good old Russets. I peeled them, and then cut them into the classic french fry shape. Then I dumped them into a large bowl of water and left the tap running. Getting rid of the outside film of starch from each potato stick is key to a good and crispy crust.

Once the water runs clear, I extracted the potatoes and patted them dry on a paper towel. In the meantime, I heated a good bit of corn oil (enough to cover all the fries with ample room to float).

Once the oil was nice and hot, I slowly lowered the potatoes with a spider and cooked them for about five minutes or until they were still white and floppy.

As soon as it got to this stage, I extracted all the fries from the oil and let them cool in a waiting bowl. Once the fries were cool, I cranked up the heat on the oil and sent the fries back for their final fry.

After they got the golden brown color, I took them out and into a wide bowl lined with a paper towel (to wick away the excess oil). Working rapidly with the hot fries, I quickly sprinkled a few pinches of kosher salt onto the fries and tossed them in the bowl to distribute. I served them immediately because, as everyone knows, "hot fries = good fries".

These were so good, with a fluffy and faintly buttery interior contrasting that crisp and crunchy crust, that I wished I had a nice char-grilled, 'carcinogenic' burger to go with it.


At 9:56 AM, Blogger Christine D. said...

Fries sound really good right now, even though it's only 9:55 am.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Fries for breakfast! Why not!

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, that "oil blanching" does the trick....seems like everybody's doing "fries and pomme frites" this week!

At 12:46 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Sure was worth it! Nothing like homemade versions of fast food items...


Kinda fortuitous isn't it? Same week that there was so much press about acrylamide...

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Eddie Lin said...

Elmo, is your new nickname "Cancer Man" or what?

At 2:18 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


LOL! I'm not as cool or mysterious as X-Files Cancer Man, but if I'm going to risk getting cancer I'd rather it be through food!! Not something like cigarettes or cell phones....although death by choking on writhing, live tentacles would truly be more a glorious and funnier way to go!

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Seth Chadwick said...


Just a thought, but the next time you make fries, make 1/3 of your oil sunflower oil. It adds a very subtle nutty flavor to the potatoes which pairs up perfectly with the taste of the spuds themselves.


At 7:03 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely try it out!

At 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just followed your procedures and absolutely LOVED the end result! Sunflower oil is better than Canola oil as it doesn't burn anywhere near as easily and can handle a higher heat (READ: crispier fries)

Another tip is not to leave the water running but rinse them in a bowl - after all we're very short on water here in Australia.

Thanks for the tips!


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