Fries - Robuchon method
Anyone tried this one? I'm very skeptical....
For those who have not heard, it's rumored that his method is to put the fries (no thicker than 3/8") in a pan, cover with room temp oil, and heat until the fries are crispy.
This seems almost magical and defies everything I know about frying.
I can almost see this working...It shadows the double fry method by first cooking the fries until soft and then the higher heat should crisp them...I just wonder how much fat the potatoes absorb?
I'm almost compelled to try this with duck fat( 2/3 duck fat, 1/3 veg or peanut oil) to see what happens...at least then at least the fat is adding flavor, not just, um, fat...
It's not just that they need to be no thicker than 3/8", but they really need to be almost exactly 3/8" square. A more accurate method could be concocted with a deep fryer and temperature monitoring, since "medium to medium high heat" really doesn't give you much detail. All said, this method truly takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, so if you're coming up with fries in 6 or 7, you're cranking your heat up too much.
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There are quite a few posts, some with photos, on this method over at egullet. It was Jeffrey Steingarten, as well as some others, who attributed it to the method Rubuchon uses at home. The same method, only using sliced potatoes, is in one of the CIA books. Among those who tried it, the consensus was about 70/30 against. Many thought the potatoes were too greasy and preferred the double-fry method, although a number agreed it was quite a bit easier, and some thought they were terrific.
I do a half home fries sort of thing with sliced potatoes. I cut the potatoes about 1/3" thick, put them in a non-stick pan with a a couple teaspoons of fat (usually peanut oil), salt, and some crushed red pepper. I add water half way up the sides of the potatoes, cover and put on medium heat for about 35 to 40 minutes.
The tops of the potatoes are fluffy steamed, the bottoms are crisp fried.
It's particular good using stock instead of water, it makes a sort of lacy crisp savory caramel from the stock boiled dry.
She loves to season them with lime, and tons of flakey salt.