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Richard Blais' French Fries with Fresh Herbs, Sea Salt, and Sri-Rancha

Serves 4-6

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 large russet (baking) potatoes, peeled
  • About 3 cups peanut oil
  • About 1 1/2 cups melted lard or vegetable oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • A parmesan cheese wedge for shaving
  • Sri-Rancha
PREPARATION

Halve the potatoes lengthwise. Lay them flat side down on the cutting board and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices, then stack the slices a few at a time and cut into 1/4-inch thick batons. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak for at least 4 hours, or up to 6 hours, at room temperature to remove excess starch.

Fill a large heavy pot with the peanut oil and lard; the oil should be at least 3 inches deep. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pot and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 230F.

Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and pat them very dry with paper towels. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Working in batches, fry the potatoes until soft and limp but not brown, about 5 minutes. Spread them out in a single layer on the lined baking sheet and freeze until frozen hard, about 1 hour. Set the pot of oil aside.

When the fries are frozen, reheat the oil to 350F. Working in batches and adjusting the heat to maintain the oil temperature, fry the potatoes until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a large paper-towel-lined bowl and toss with salt while still warm. Once all the potatoes are fried, toss them with parsley, dill, rosemary, lemon zest and more salt until evenly seasoned.

Transfer the fries to a serving platter and, using a vegetable peeler, shave thin strips of Parmesan over the top. Serve warm with the Sri-Rancha for dipping.

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