Beer-Battered Cajun Fries

25 Aug

2011_03_06-CajunFries1.jpg

I made these last night for Jared, SaraJean & I. Jared loves homemade french fries, and despite the fact that the kitchen is always a smoke-filled disaster area when I’ve finished making them and I usually burn myself, get oil stains on my clothes and it always take me longer than I think and then we have to eat them & rush out the door, I make them anyway because I love to cook things that he enjoys =). So I went for these last night & they were SUPER delicious, totally worth the effort, so give ’em a try if you’re feeling like fried food & also feeling ambitious.

Beer-Battered Cajun Fries
Serves 4-6

2 pounds russet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Cajun spice (I use Tony Chachere’s)
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup lager-style beer, plus additional as needed
Peanut oil (or other high smoke point, neutral flavored oil), for frying

Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices, then cut slices into 1/4-inch sticks (I leave the potatoes unpeeled). Soak fries in an ice water bath for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours. This removes the starch from the potatoes and makes for a better fry.

Mix flour, spices, and beer to create a thick, pancake-like batter, adding more beer if necessary. Divide batter evenly between 2 large mixing bowls (one batch will be used to dredge the fries before blanching and one batch will be used to dredge the fries for the second cooking). Add potatoes to the batter and toss, making sure to coat each fry completely.

Fill a large cast iron or enamel pot with 3 inches of peanut oil. Heat oil to 325° over medium-high to high heat. In 2 – 3 batches, add fries and blanch until lightly golden and limp, yet cooked through (see third image). This could take anywhere from 4 – 6 minutes. Watch the oil temperature carefully and try to maintain the temperature at 325° (it will lower drastically once the fries are added). You can use tongs to gentlyseparate the fries while they are cooking; they have tendency to want to cling to each other. Remove the fries from the oil with tongs or a spider and allow to cool on a paper towel-lined sheet pan while finishing the remaining batches.

Once all of the fries are blanched, raise the oil temperature to 375°. Dredge the blanched fries in the second bowl of batter, tossing to coat. Still in batches, cook fries until crisp and deep golden brown (see second image), about 1 – 2 minutes, but this could be more or less depending on how much the temperature of the oil fluctuates. Remove to another paper towel-lined sheet pan, taste-test a fry, and season with additional Cajun seasoning or salt as needed. Serve immediately.

Related: Blogging Bon Appétit: All About French Fries

(Images: Nealey Dozier)


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