Take everything you love about a French fry that crisp, golden-brown crust enveloping an oh, so fluffy interior and flatten it.
In fact, go ahead and smash it.
Lately, Ive been frying up smashed potatoes, and theyre everything I could want in a French fry and more.
And theyre so simple to make.
Youll probably be tempted to eat them straight out of the frying oil, but spare your fingers and taste buds the burn. Give the fries a minute or two to cool on a rack, enough time to sprinkle them with a little salt as you admire their rustic beauty. Then dig in. Note: For additional flavor, substitute duck fat, lard or bacon fat for the frying oil.
TO MAKE THE FRIES
1. Place 2 pounds of small new potatoes, water and salt in a large, heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are just tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes more. Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle.
2. Using a fork, gently smash the potatoes. The thicker the smashed potatoes, the fluffier the fries; conversely, the flatter the potatoes, the crispier the fries.
3. Fill a heavy-bottom deep saute pan with oil so the oil comes up the sides of the pan by one-half inch. Heat the oil to a temperature of 350 degrees; the oil will shimmer in the pan.
4. Fry the potatoes in the oil until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes, careful not to crowd the potatoes (fry a single layer of potatoes at a time; this will need to be done in batches).
5. Drain them on a rack until all are fried.
6. Season with additional salt to taste, and serve immediately.
CREAMY RANCH DIPPING SAUCE
Total time: 25 minutes, plus 2 to 3 hours refrigeration time; makes about 1 quart
1 (8-ounce) container cream cheese, softened
1 (16-ounce container) sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated or chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise until smooth. Whisk in the garlic, onion, parsley, chives, dill, tarragon, lemon zest, vinegar, salt and chipotle pepper. Season to taste with black pepper, and adjust the salt and vinegar. Cover and chill until needed; the dip tastes best if the flavors are allowed to develop 2 to 3 hours before serving. The dip will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days.
Nutrition per tablespoon: 51 calories; 0 protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 73 mg sodium.