E-Z Potato Sticks & Strips

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I came across an episode of America’s Test Kitchen recently in which they seemed surprised to find that making French Fries with the potatoes starting in cold oil is easier (and often with better results) than heating the oil first. I’d been doing it that way for years and didn’t think it such a novel idea. (For what it’s worth, they suggest that Russet potatoes are too dry to cook this way, but I haven’t found that to be the case and prefer them to their recommended Yukon Gold. Really do love the show, though!)

On a side note about keeping it organic … For the longest time I had been avoiding eating potatoes or potato products after reading somewhere that the lignins in potatoes can cause an immune response with my blood type. After staying off potato for a while, I did notice that if in a moment of weakness I had an order of fries with lunch, say, or a handful (bag) of potato chips one evening, I would wake up the next morning particularly congested–stuffy nose, that sort of thing. My unscientific personal experience experiments over the last couple of years seem to have confirmed some kind of immune response to potato. Psychosomatic? No matter. I’ve recently started eating organic potatoes on a limited basis and haven’t noticed any of the prior negative effects leading me to think that it may well have been the inordinate amount of ‘cides’ conventionally grown potatoes are subject to that had caused the bad effects (Here’s a thought provoking link on chemicals and potatoes). That or it really WAS all in my mind.
Then again, fried potatoes are supposedly really bad for you anyway. So … .

Potato Sticks & Strips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Organic Russet potato per person
  • 4+ cups rice bran oil
  • salt, pepper, seasonings
Instructions
  1. Rinse & peel potato(es).
  2. Cut potato in half lengthwise.
  3. With one half, take potato peeler and slice off lengthwise strips of varied widths.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut the other half into ⅛-1/4 sticks.
  5. Remove extra moisture from potato w/ cloth or paper towel.
  6. Place potato sticks then strips in cold oil.
  7. Cook on high heat leaving undisturbed for first 10 minute.
  8. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally until deep golden brown.
  9. Remove to cloth or paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  10. Sprinkle w/ salt, pepper and seasonings.
  11. Eat.
Notes
Always exhibit extreme care and constant supervision when working with hot oil over open flame. (Frying the potatoes starting w/ cold oil actually keeps the heat down while making some of the crispiest, least greasy fries you've ever enjoyed) While cooking time can increase slightly with more potatoes, it is in the same general range.