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Dec 9, 2008 10:12 PM

A chowlenge: redeeming leftover fries

A friend and I were musing about culinary impossibilities and it seemed to us that there was not a single way of making good use of cold leftover fries, either resurrected as fries or incorporated into something else. We fantasized about this being the perfect secret ingredient in Iron Chef America. We wanna see Cat Cora confused :)

Has anyone actually done this with any level of success? Even if you haven't tried, any clues as to what we might start experiementing with, should we take this on as a kind of quest?

Forgive me if this has already been talked about... I did do a search but didn't find anything...

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  1. Well they don't work as hash browns, although I've cut them up into fritattas. But they don't really add that much.

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll

      I re-use them into frittatas as well. However, if you have superior flavored french fries, it does add to the frittata. I only bring home leftover fries from restaurants, if they have a great flavor. Otherwise, I'll just leave them on the plate.

      1. re: beetlebug

        I second the motion! Frittatas give one a chance to be creative. I usually make one using about 6 eggs mixed with several dollops of ricotta. The aromatics are chopped onions and celery, and extremely incendiary chiles (oops! peperoncini, the generic Italian word for hot peppers, not to be confused with the pickled ones in a jar sold in supermarkets). I use an old 10" cast iron skillet. After the aromatics have been sauteed in olive oil, add the fries, and a little butter. Pour in the egg-ricotta mixture and cook at a low cooktop temperature. When one sees the egg starting to set on the edges, remove the skillet and place it under the broiler. Watch the progress of the eggs cooking on top. Once the eggs are set, remove the skillet setting it aside on the cooktop. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the eggs.

        I do not try to remove the frittata from the skillet in toto by flipping onto a plate because the skillet is too heavy. I cut the frittata into 4 wedges and use a spatula to remove the wedges to plates.

        T'invio cordialissimi saluti e buon appetito! Mangia bene!

        1. re: ChiliDude

          My mother just made a pan version as an omelet. Or rather, she poured beaten eggs over them, and just scrambled them. Add ketchup, or tomato chutney, if you care to. What more could you desire? Of course, now that I know better, I'd opt for the frittata...
          BTW, this recipe, even tho it doesn't call for french fries, has an excellent, easy technique for frittatas....I used it, with totally different ingredients, the other day, and it's now my basic template...

    2. Sure, you can make the peruvian classic, lomo saltado. Or we sometimes shallow fry them in peanut oil again, and they come out like they're double-fried with nice brown and crunchy exteriors but the interior tends to be a bit mealier than when they were fresh. So, I recommend cooking them all the way to crackly. Or add them to a juicy sandwich wrap to soak up the flavors.

      I am curious about your experience since you say they can't be resurrected as fries. I think they can be better when twice-fried.

      1. Usually just re-fry them. But leftover fries are not that did you make the originals?

        1. If your leftover fries are fresh-cut and thick, and you don't mind them very crunchy, you can just reheat in the oven at 300 F in a cookie sheet until they are hot and crispy again. The fries from my favorite rotisserie chicken place in Montreal are excellent reheated like this and served with a lot of vinegar and sea salt -- sprinkle generously with vinegar first so the salt will stick.

          1. I wonder if you could whirl them in a processor, add some chopped chives, maybe an egg, make a potato pancake.

            Or did anybody say soup yet? Maybe a take on baked potato soup, with bacon, cream cheese, shredded cheddar, onions.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nemo

              Similar to nemo - saute onions, garlic, and Indian spices as part of a roux, add dairy to make a thick cream sauce, add the whirred potatoes and perhaps some leftover veggies and/or diced cooked meat/poultry/seafood, shape into patties, and pan-fry or deep-fry as croquettes. Or change the seasoning to Old Bay and make crab cakes.