Tuesday, February 15, 2011

cooking is just a socially acceptable excuse to play with boiling oil

I had a fairly concise to-do list for my visit to Boston.

Drop by a proper kitchen supply store and pick up a bench scraper. Eat cheese from Formaggio Kitchen. Make another attempt at the white chocolate souffle recipe that I've never quite managed to get right.

My to-do list didn't say anything about boiling oil.

Then again, my to-do list didn't take into account a full pint of goosefat, a convenient surfeit of potatoes and onions, and the encouragement of culinary partners-in-crime.

Blame Matt for the first item. He made cassoulet from scratch - the kind that calls for roasting an entire goose - and ended up with an enormous quantity of rendered fat. Blame Isobel for the second - the offerings from her winter CSA had started to pile up, and she had the beginnings of a root cellar in her pantry. Blame a whole host of friends for the third.

And then I suppose I should take a share of the blame myself. After all, I did utter the words "goosefat French fries."

It was only an idle thought. After all, French fries are fussy enough and messy enough to require deliberation and preparation. There should be carefully-selected potatoes and a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. The planning process shouldn't go from "Goosefat - potatoes and onions - leftover herbs - French fries!" to "Where's the peeler? And get me the biggest, sturdiest pot we've got!" in the space of a minute.

Except when it does. In fact, the whole process didn't take more than thirty minutes from the first peeled potato to the first batch of fries - with remarkably tasty results.

(Thanks to Alex for the photos.)

Herb-and-Onion Goosefat French Fries: A Picture Guide

Rinse, peel, and cut potatoes for a heap of fries, and put them through two changes of cold water.

Slice onions into thin curls.

Sweep the kitchen for the biggest, most solid pot available. Set it on a burner. Heat up the goosefat. Add rosemary and thyme to perfume the oil. Drain the potatoes. When the oil is bubbling, start frying.

Watch with greedy anticipation as the fries color. Wait with slotted spoon in hand to fish them out.

Drain the fries when they turn deep golden brown.

Salt generously, and enjoy the heck out of them while they're hot!

Note: While this is a fun party trick, do not attempt it while intoxicated, and don't let anyone else try it either. Friends don't let friends fry drunk.


Robyn said...


photon said...

PS: first image link is broken.

adele said...

Photon - Good catch, thanks!