Twice Fried Fries with Bacon and Cheese
How do you make a great french fry? I’m gonna guess, despite the simplicity in frying potatoes, that there are plenty of answers to that question, but I’m gonna offer up my best guess — it’s twice fried fries. I know, probably about half of you out there already knew that, and the rest are using frozen fries (I’ll come back to those) or good old, once fried fries.
If you’re just trying to figure out why twice fried fries works, there’s a great piece at Serious Eats, which explains it pretty well. But I happen to like a story told to me by a French colleague, in which a chef on a train was trying to make some potatoes, somehow lost power and then had to restart them. What he found was that the new potatoes were more interesting and far more crunchy, which became the eventual story for french fries, as well.
And then there are frozen fries, many — or some of them, anyway — have already been fried even before you get them. At least the good ones do that.
The recipe below is for my twice fried fries done with a nice hot cheddar cheese and a pile of bacon bits. In the best world, I could just live on these things year round. They are very good and a perfect example of why twice fried fries really does work. They are just gooey with tons of bacon bits. I love them.
- Oil, usually in a deep fryer, but a pan can work
- Potatoes, about 1 large potato for each person
- Bacon, about 1 or two pieces of thick bacon, fried and chopped
- 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small pieces
- Milk, roughly four tbsp. for each half pound of cheese
- First cut the potatoes into 3/8 slices, place in a bowl and add water to cover. These should be left in the refrigerator for at least a hour.
- Make the bacon.
- Melt the cheese in a low-heat pan and once the cheese is nearly melted, add just enough milk to make it a little soft and easy to stir.
- To cook the fries, start first with oil at 320F to 325F and cook all the fries in this oil until they are nearly cooked but not quite brown, maybe 5-6 minutes. Then scoop out the fries, lay them on a paper towl to get rid of the oil and allow them to sit for at least half an hour.
- Increase the oil temp to 375F and then add the fries back to the oil to finish cooking, which generally takes only a couple of minutes. Drain the oil, salt, add cheese sauce and bacon bits. Serve immediately.
- I'm told the first-cooked fries can be held overnight in a fridge or kept months in a freezer. I never get that far, but it sounds like it might work.