Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Homemade Crispy French Fries and Tortilla Chips.

'twas Em's turn to cook yesterday, so I took out catfish because I love what he does with it. His typical MO, however, is to serve the catfish with mashed potatoes and creamed corn (from a can). We're getting majorly low on canned vegetables because we just haven't seen any sales on them for $.50 or less in like a year and we can get frozen veggies for less than current canned prices.

I was also thinking about how we used to buy catfish takeout when we lived in North Arlington and how that little hole-in-the-wall catfish place got deleted [maybe] due to the new mammoth Cowboy Stadium being built near there. Anyway, I was jonesing for some catfish with french fries and coleslaw like we used to get there. Our car is in the shop, but I noticed we still had some cabbage in the frig and a few russet potatoes in the pantry, so I asked Em if he'd mind me making a few different sides. He thought it a great idea, even asking if I wanted him to deep-fry the catfish. I love his pan-fried catfish and figured I'd use the fry-daddy for the french fries, so I told him to do what he's always done.

We absolutely LOVED the results. It was a meal slurped down in record time, giving me a real understanding of why people enjoy fast food so much. Deep-fried is NOT the healthiest, but, boy it packs a wallop of flavor.

I made the coleslaw early in the day so it could refrigerate for a long time. At that time, I also peeled the potatoes (three small-to-medium) and cut them into fry shapes. Then, so they wouldn't turn brown, I put them in a covered bowl of ice-water in the frig, where they sat until supper time (seven hours later). I also let a bag of frozen store-bought corn tortillas sit on the counter to defrost long enough to pry off maybe 8 tortillas for tortilla chip frying. Em's a major fan of tortilla chips.

Because Em's part of the meal took only 15 minutes and mine longer, I got going in the kitchen about an hour before we wanted to eat. I used this recipe as a base, and set out the cut fries to dry while I made the dipping sauce for them.


Used generic seasoned salt instead of paprika, onion and garlic powder instead of their salted versions, and needed quite a bit more water than the recipe stated for the recipe when cut down to 2 portions. Also, I added beer to the dip because I'd opened a beer to drink while making these things and because one of the reviewers suggested it.

Took the advise of some reviewers and did a double-fry. On my first fry, I put in plain potatoes with torn tortilla pieces for 2 minutes. That's all the time needed for tortilla chips. Laying out the potatoes and tortilla chips on yet more paper towels, I continued to do this until all potatoes had gotten the 2-minute first fry. I didn't notice the plain potatoes trying to stick together. Em was off playing Solitaire on the PC, so I brought him some warm tortilla chips to try as soon as I had some and he gave a thumbs up. I made a few more batches of tortilla chips while dipping the potatoes for their final fry. I also set the convection oven to 200 degrees to keep the french fries warm. Second dipped fry was four minutes and I stirred the fry-daddy a lot to keep the fries from sticking. There were two batches of dipped fries for the fries shown. There were a few more in the bowl in this picture, so we got 3 servings from the 3 smallish potatoes and *I* get to eat the leftovers today.

LUNCH UPDATE: These fries do NOT stay crispy through nuking. Still tasty, though.

Forgot to take a pic of the final meal, but did get one of the tortilla chips.

The fries came out as golden as the chips, were crunchy on the outside and almost liquid on the inside. At first bite I wanted to say, "They're not DONE!", but they started out HARD, NOT liquid, and tasted DIVINE".

I sprinkled salt on both the french fries and chips after cooking and before eating, so not only were these foods unhealthy due to being deep-fried, but unhealthy due to added salt. In addition, the process was pretty messy and used quite a bit of paper toweling to suck up excess oil. /just sayin'. Still, once or twice/year ...


Diane said...

On the FryDaddy, doesn't the oil get funky? We had one ages ago but I eventually threw it out because it was a giant mess-maker and oil waster -- had to throw out the grease after each use or it would get a fish funk going on. What's the secret? Not that we fry stuff often enough to justify another gadget but just wondering.

Before I forget again (and because I'm too lazy to click over to email), I tried pumpkin gooey butter cake last weekend (and the weekend before - heh). Yum! I've always hated pumpkin anything but this has converted me. Anyway, just wanted to share the recipe in case you & Em decide you're getting too skinny from the fried foods. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-gooey-butter-cakes-recipe/index.html I omitted the nutmeg as I don't like it and I used a homemade cake mix.

Oldnovice said...

LOL. You're asking the queen of rancidity (per Ann) if the FryDaddy oil gets FUNKY?

The oil I used for the french fries and tortilla chips had been used previously for chicken thighs, so there were little brown chunks when I dug down deep into the fry-daddy, but nothing noticeable.

Didn't notice any fish odor, but maybe that's because we hadn't used it to deepfry any fish.

Anyway, just wanted to share the recipe in case you & Em decide you're getting too skinny from the fried foods.

Why I love you woman; why I love you. Em, OTOH, won't try a pumpkin recipe AT ALL. He made up his mind when he was 8 years old that he'd never again try ANYTHING containing pumpkin. I LIKE pumpkin stuff, but I don't like it enough to try and fight the stuff Em's got going on.

Diane said...

I noticed you had a new fan a few posts back. *snicker*

My oil always turned fishy even without frying fish. Maybe my nose is just funny.

no3 said...

I once tried a deep frier on some chopped rutabaga, thinking it might be something akin to french fries. Very disappinted in the texture of it. It was like deep fying brocolli, but not as fun.

Oldnovice said...

I think we need to have a sit-down over this, No. 3. How does this weekend sound?