Giving the fries the perfect smash. Recipe (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)
Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 to 8
Note: For additional flavor, substitute duck fat, lard or bacon fat for the frying oil. Duck fat is available at select gourmet and cooking stores, as well as online.
2 pounds fingerling or very small new potatoes
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt, plus more for seasoning
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1. Place the potatoes, water and salt in a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are just tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes more.
2. Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to three days in advance; refrigerate the potatoes until needed, then continue with the recipe.)
3. Using a fork, gently smash the potatoes. The thicker the smashed potatoes, the fluffier the fries; conversely, the flatter the potatoes, the more crisp the fries. Set the smashed potatoes aside while you heat the oil.
4. Fill a heavy-bottom deep saute pan with oil so the oil comes up the sides of the pan by one-half inch. Heat the oil to a temperature of 350 degrees; the oil will shimmer in the pan.
5. Fry the potatoes in the oil until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes, careful not to crowd the potatoes (fry a single layer of potatoes at a time; this will need to be done in batches). Drain the potatoes on a rack until all of the potatoes are fried.
6. Season the smashed fries with additional salt to taste, and serve immediately.
Each of 8 servings: 209 calories; 2 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 184 mg sodium.