Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Home Made Fries

I wanted to title this "Suck it, Pioneer Woman," but I thought that people would be turned off by that title.  So I just put that in the first line instead because I guess that makes it a better sell.  For those of you who thought this was going to be a recipe or something I guess I tricked you.  Sorry.

The other day Emma said she wanted to try home made fries.  We've done potato chips before but she wanted fries.  So I bought potatoes.  Sunday, Leslie decided, "Today we make fries!" and cut them.  But I was going to actually cook them, so I looked up a "recipe". 

It's weird calling it a recipe because it's a one ingredient thing...sort of.  More of a "procedure" really.  So I looked up a "procedure".  Leslie is always saying, "We never go wrong with Pioneer Woman" so I looked up her procedure for "perfect fries".  I feel like there are too many quotes in this post so far. 

Anyway the first thing she says, straight out of the gate is, you have to soak the cut potatoes in cold water for a few hours.  So since it was dinner time at. that. moment. I just made homemade potato chips (which were awesome) and we soaked the cut fries in water like the Pioneer woman specifically tells us we need to in order to make them perfectly.  Later I looked up another recipe, this time Emeril.  Same thing...soak 'em first.

Fine.  We put off fries until hamburger night, which was tonight.  Both the procedures said we could soak them overnight.  So we got the soaking done early.

What we didn't get done early was dinner.  Emma had dance until 7:30, and I got home way later than usual.  Leslie left to go pick her up and I started the fries.  I had to dry them off and then heat oil to 300 degrees.  I did this with a pot of canola oil and digital cooking thermometer.  Pioneer woman was very specific about doing this for 5 minutes or so at 300 degrees in small batches.

So it didn't take long for me to realize that since it took 10 minutes for the oil to reach 300, and I had at least 4 batches of fries at 5 minutes each...dinner would NOT be ready by the time they got home.  Especially since I would typically cook the hamburgers so they were done with the fries, and hadn't started the hamburgers yet because I didn't trust the cat or Lily not to investigate this wonderful hot oil on the stove top.

30 minutes later I was almost done with the first round (yes, first) of frying and Leslie walked in the door.  I'd at least prepped her via text for the fact that it was taking forever so she didn't flip out that nothing was cooked, but that didn't stop the note of righteous indignation from creeping into her voice as she said, "She can't wait for that, she hasn't eaten since lunch!"  This when I told her that Pioneer Woman very specifically states that the perfect fucking fries must be not once, but twice fried.  Once at 300 degrees...once at 400 degrees.  And I hadn't finished the first round yet.

She grilled the hamburgers and was done as I was starting the first batch of the second round at 400 degrees.  At this point it was 8 o'clock.  Lily needed a bath, nobody else had eaten, and I was cursing under my breath as I tried and failed to carefully add fries to 400 degree canola oil, periodically splashing it on my fingers.

But finally they were done.  And drained.  And salted.  And plated. 

And they were alright.  Yeah...alright.  Two days of cold water bath, drain, dry, heat oil to 300 and fry for 5 minutes in small batches times infinity, add bandages and first aid cream, drain, dry, heat oil to 400 and fry until brown, more bandages, drain, dry, salt, serve...and they were just alright. 

You know what's better though?  Ore-Ida Fast food fries.  Directly out of the fucking freezer, and into the Fry-Daddy for 5 minutes.  BANG!  DONE!  Tastes like McDonald's for godsake.  IN FIVE MINUTES.  This took two days and an hour!

I'm in this Wellness "challenge" at work.  In order to earn the prize I want I have to average 10,000 steps per day for like 45 consecutive days.  Tonight, after cleaning up, and getting kids to bed I looked down at my pedometer and it read 6,500 steps (ish).  It was 11 o'clock and I was getting on the damn treadmill to get to my 10,000 steps.  Because of the damned Pioneer Woman and her "perfect" fries.

And that is why I'm writing this at 1 in the morning.  Because of the Pioneer Woman. 

Lesson:  Don't bother making homemade fries.
Lesson 2:  You CAN go wrong with the Pioneer Woman.


  1. Homemade fries in our house: Use deep fryer, 350 preheated canola oil. Wash potatoes. Use fry cutter to cut. Cook for 12 minutes. Done. Tasty.
    Your method sounds complicated. Fuck the Pioneer Woman, just cook the stupid fries.

    1. Seconded. I just chop and fry. None of this soaking business or twice-frying. They're done when they're brown :D

    2. food fries. In the fryer, 5 minutes, remove, perfection.

  2. The Pioneer Woman used to be my guru for homecooking, now her cooking show makes me kind of ill and I've realized her recipes are generally "Look how many steps I can make you take for just average food!". I've moved on to Mel's Kitchen Cafe and I looooove her recipes because they make much more sense for the average bear. Or person who has less time to cook.

    1. I still like some of her recipes. Just...not that one. At all.