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Do you like cold french fries?

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If you do, how do you enjoy them?

I've got a big bag of french fries, actually two that were combined into one, from The Hat (a greasy spoon out in Los Angeles, www.thehat.com) that have sat overnight in the fridge.

They're perfectly fine except that they are cold and I enjoy my fries piping hot, or at least just hot.

Ketchup was not enough to make these palatable.

Neither was ranch dressing.

And even my last resort of pairing them with a big bowl of hot chili was a no-go.

So if you do like cold french fries, how do you make them palatable?

(Note: please no suggestions for reheating them ... not my cup of tea).

Thanks.

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  1. The way I like them, is in the garbage can. There is no way to make them palatable. FFs only have a life-span of around 20 minutes, after that, they are sea gull food, nothing more.

    8 Replies
    1. re: arktos

      Agreed!

      1. re: arktos

        I never keep left over french fries. That said so far the only fries I can eat cold, and by that I mean room temp, are BK fries and curly fries.

        1. re: arktos

          What about a garbage plate? It's usually served hot, but I can see cold fries, cold macaroni salad, a couple burgers and hot chili sauce being a great combination of hot and cold.

          1. re: JungMann

            What pray tell is a "garbage plate"?

            1. re: BelovedofIsis

              Generally, a Rochester, NY (or maybe all of East Coast) diner item.

              http://americanfood.about.com/od/extr...

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I think it's specific to Rochester. I've only seen it once outside the area at a Rochester bar in NYC.

                1. re: JungMann

                  I saw it on a menu in Cincinnati, right next to the options for Cincinnati Chilii

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    ...and a five-way ain't that far from a garbage plate....

        2. Why not re-heat? Has to be better than cold!

          1 Reply
          1. re: eatswjoy

            i agree with arktos....any fast food fries...have to be hot..

            the only fries i will attempt to reheat are Outbacks cheese/bacon fries...nuke them -then cover in the remaining ranch dressing...

          2. i can't wrap my brain around the idea of cold fries being even remotely enjoyable no matter what you do to them. but instead of reheating them by themselves, if you're willing to repurpose them in something else that requires cooking/heating, you might find something here:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/578869
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/674917
            http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2008/...
            http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2008/...
            http://icookstuff.blogspot.com/2009/0...
            http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.a...

            1. Chop them up and make a breakfast skillet (with egg) in your cast iron skillet. Sausage, onion, garlic, parsley, red pepper....add the poached egg...a squirt of sriracha. Oh yeah.

              Cold fries just suck.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sedimental

                that's about the only way I've ever heard to even try to salvage cold fries.

                I'm with the ones who just pitch 'em.

                (tried to resuscitate Five Guys fries by putting them under the broiler -- they went in the trash, too. Bummer, as I *love* me some FG fries.)

              2. I try really hard to never "Yuck on someone else's yum", but no way. Ick.

                1. Been there. And after seeing many posts about double frying, I figured "what the heck when I had cold fries. So I heated a pot with oil, dropped them in for less than a minute..and they were very good.

                  Robin

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robinez

                    Oooh- good call

                  2. No, I don't think anybody does. BUT- sometimes when you're eating them they get sort of cold, and if they're that good you continue, but I can't see saving them, but then I never had fries tht were cooked in duck or goose fat, or anything that would be considered chow worthy top end, so to make a short story long- sometimes ;-)

                    1. Hot French fries are French fries. Cold French fries are chunks of cold greasy potato.

                      I imagine you could cut them into chunks and put them in a frying pan with some onions and maybe mushrooms or something. Usually I give them to the dogs.

                      1. French fries have a half-life that approximates hGH, about 20-30 minutes. Anyone who gets their kicks from cold french fries should make a batch of frozen lard bars on a stick and have a really orgasmic experience.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Veggo

                          veggo, you are on fire tonight.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            My college roommate used to steal those individual butter packets that came along with bread baskets and eat those while studying for finals. It was one of the most revolting things I had to deal with in college.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I used to work with a woman who ate the butter packets from McDonald's. She would order a biscuit w/ extra butter and eat about 5 or 6 of those packets in one sitting. It was like watching a horror movie.

                              1. re: Jelly71

                                A scholarship friend and better frosh golf team member than me at a lesser Ivy was truly impoverished until he learned to hustle on the links. Midnight diner he would order a cup of hot water, no charge. Likewise, Saltines. Ketchup was on the table. He would make Ketchup soup garnished with Saltines.
                                I lent him my favorite fedora and he lost it in a poker game, but I still love the guy. He was so sure he had the winning hand.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  I love this story!

                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    we used to call that Tuition Soup -- because that was sometimes a viable option the week you had to pay tuition.

                                    (we also Tuition Casserole -- everyone would bring a can or two of whatever weirdness was left in their cabinet, and we'd pitch it in a pot with a 39-cent package of ramen noodles -- sometimes it was awesome, sometimes it was barely edible, but we all got a meal out of next to nothing.)

                                    1. re: Veggo

                                      Straight out of "Midnight Cowboy".

                                2. re: Veggo

                                  Not that there is anything wrong with that ;)

                                  I admit to eating and liking cold food on many occasions. French fries, not on my list but I've eaten a few here and there.

                                3. ipsedixit this post is surely a joke - I've seen your posts many times before! Happy Friday the 13th?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Jeanne

                                    Why do you say that?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Because by your other posts you are knowledgable and enjoy good food. To eat cold, day old french fries without wanting to even reheat them? And to me, at least, left over potatoes have a bad taste period - now matter what the form. I suspect you would agree.

                                      1. re: Jeanne

                                        I do agree, which is why I am asking, or soliciting for opinions.

                                        Hate to see good food go to waste. So, if there's a way to make them palatable, I'm all ears.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          I'm not talking about your cup of tea, but I reheat fries regularly. 350 oven, a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes, turn once and often they're better than the original, if the originals were not real crispy.

                                  2. If they are / have been done/ super crispy - ie. done in the oven.
                                    My Meyer's parrot loves them. Minus salt.

                                    1. A food writer, Alan, Saunders, in Australia wrote a piece on the cold french fry debacle. His solution was to stir fry the cold french fries in fish sauce. I've not tried it as fries don't often have the opportunity to go cold around me.

                                      Otherwise I'm with the bin them camp. Cold french fries are not enjoyable, no matter what you do to them.

                                      1. does anybody else notice a really weird taste to leftover fries? There's some sort of flavor that comes out when they're cold (not from the grease) that just turns me off...

                                        1. I'm wondering if I can chop them up, sprinkle with some garlic salt and bake them to use as croutons, or as a topping for Mac N Cheese? Pot Pie?

                                          1. No, never cold, I find they stick in my esophagus when they're cold, cough, gak, to say nothing of the lack of palate pleasure. However, there's a no waste clause at Casa Bushwick, so I fry them up in eggs, or reheat in the oven and top burgers or cold cuts on a hero, like that popular student diner food truck in Princeton NJ does.

                                            Sadly, once fries are past that 20 minute window, their original glory is gone forever.

                                            ipsedixit, your re-purposed cut up fries as croutons might be good, well seasoned and baked til crunchy.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                              I might just go to park today and feed the birds.

                                              It's too risky to re-purpose cold fries and risk ruining perfectly good salad, soup, or pot pies.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Please report back if you decide to live dangerously and go forth with your crouton idea.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Birds don't seem to have any issues with cold fries...

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    ah, see, i would have turned them into home fries or something similar. if they turned out nasty, you wouldn't have wasted more than a little onion, paprika, s&p, or ruined any other tasty ingredients.

                                                2. Chop up an onion, toss in a pan with some butter, chop fries and cook with to make a sort of hash brown.

                                                  I suppose you could also pulverize them in the food processor and use them to make fish cakes or something along those lines.

                                                  (I don't think those count as reheats? )

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: im_nomad

                                                    "Some things just need to be thrown out", adapted from a line from Clint Eastwood!!!!!

                                                    ipse.....is it rainiing where you are, or just a slow day in general? If you find out what to do with them; I am sure you can get all you want in McDonald's dumpsters.

                                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                                      Park pigeons will recycle them into ....oh, nevermind.

                                                  2. I've had luck throwing them on a baking sheet and reheating them in the oven at 375 or so. They get nice and crispy again.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: tazia

                                                      + 1 on reheating in the oven at a high temp.

                                                      Maybe it's because I don't mind that a crisp, fried potato becomes a little chewy/crunchy.

                                                    2. the only reason to repurpose french fries is that there is nothing else in the house to eat. yes, you can make them edible, yes you can toss them into other dishes with minimal damage, but face it - its just not worth the effort.

                                                      1. Has anyone used them in a fritatta? I make one with potatoes that have been pre-fried in olive oil until the slices are cooked through, almost a Spanish tortilla, with some onion.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: lemons

                                                          Yup, many people have ... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7844...

                                                        2. Never again will I eat cold fries. I very nearly choked to death on them one night after getting home from being at the diner with a girlfriend. My elderly, incapacitated father was the only one home, and I was trying to communicate in sign language what was happening to me. I managed to dislodge it and was able to breathe, but that's it for cold fries for me.