Fish + Chips, Part 1: French Fries + Harissa Mayo

Fried potato slices.  Golden and crisp on the outside with a warm, fluffy interior.  There are several important things to be mindful of when making fries.  First, they need to be rinsed well.  This removes some of the starch.  This makes for a less soggy, more crispy fry.    Blanching potatoes first, in the oil at a lower temperature, gives them a chance to cook a bit.  They can then be thrown back into hotter oil and will crisp up perfectly.  Be sure to season them while they're still hot.  

2-3 servings.

French Fries

3 idaho potatoes

about 48 oz canola oil

lots of old bay seasoning

s + p

Peel potatoes and slice into batons of desired thickness.   Place slices in a bowl of cold water as you go, soak for 20 minutes.  Rinse potato slices very well, until water runs clear.  Dry completely.  

In a large pot, heat canola oil to 300 degrees.  Add potato slices and cook about 2 minutes.  Potatoes should not change color.  Remove from oil, transfer to towel to drain.  

Raise oil temperature to 390 degrees.  Add blanched potatoes back to the hot oil.  Work in batches if needed.  Fry until golden brown.  Remove from oil, transfer to towel to drain.  Season with old bay seasoning, salt and pepper.   Serve with harissa mayo.  Recipe below.  

Harissa Mayo

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vinegar (white, white wine, champagne...)

1/2 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

pinch salt

8 oz canola oil

2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons harissa

Place egg yolk, vinegar, water, dijon and salt in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking slowly.  Whisk faster once half the oil is added and a thin mayonaise has formed.  

Stir in harissa.  Not all harissa is created equally so you might only need 2 teaspoons or you may need more.  (We added 2 tablespoons.)  

Serve with fries.