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Deep Fried Potatoes

OK, here's real County Fair Food. And man, is it good! Ranks right up there with the Deep Fried Spam and Twinkies.

These potatoes are a little bit of trouble to get set up for, but it's worth it. Serve 'em with burgers, steak, or just by themselves. If you want, you can dip them in catsup, ranch dressing, or other sauce, but I'll bet you'll like them best just as they are. They keep great as leftovers, either warm or cold. The flavor and crunch is absolutely wonderful.

At the fair, there was this vendor from Australia selling these as fast as they could cook them. The potatoes were sliced into slabs, and they were very large potatoes. For Cooking Dude, I used normal-sized spuds, and also sliced some into wedges like steak fries. The photo shows some of each.

Just as I prefer to pre-boil the potatoes for French Fries and homemade Potato Chips before frying, I do the same here.

Here's how you make Deep Fried Crunchy Potatoes:

First, the Spice Mix:

Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl:

2 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Second, the Flour Mix:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Third, the Wet Mix:

1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda

Fourth, Prepare the Potatoes:

3 large or 4-5 medium Russet potatoes

Put a pot of water on the stove with enough lightly salted water to cover the potatoes you're going to use. (If you are making a double or triple recipe, you can do all of these steps in batches, so all the spuds don't have to fit in the pot at the same time.)

Also start heating peanut or corn oil in a pot or deep fryer large enough to hold six or eight pieces of the potato. (If you're new to deep-frying, please review that section on my Kitchen Safety page.) You want the oil to get up to about 350 degrees.

Scrub the potatoes, rinse them, and pat them dry. Then slice them either into slabs or wedges, or some of each. When the water is boiling, slide the potatoes into the water gently (so you don't splash hot water), and stir them a bit. About two or three minutes after the water returns to a boil, you will probably start smelling the potatoes, which means it's about time to get them out of the water. You want them slightly cooked, but still firm enough to handle without them breaking up. Underdone is better than overdone.

Pour them into a colander to drain and cool off. Sprinkle a little of the Spice Mix over them.

When they're cool enough to handle, dredge them in the Dry Mix, then in the Wet Mix, and then in the Spice Mix again. Now you can place them on a wire rack to cool and dry out while you finish the batch and prepare to fry.

When the oil is hot, gently put the potatoes in a few at a time, depending on the size of your fryer or pot. You'll only need to fry them four or five minutes, until they get a gorgeous golden brown. Take them out of the oil with a slotted spoon or fry basket, and dump them onto paper towels on a plate or pan. Sprinkle a little more Spice Mix on them.

Naturally, you'll eat some as soon as they are cool enough, but keep yourself under control -- you might have guests that want some, you know. If it's not time to eat yet, you can keep them warm in a warm oven, 200 degrees or so, but later you'll want to refrigerate any leftovers. Then you can look forward to having a piece with eggs in the morning, or with a sandwich for lunch!

You'll think you're back at the fair!

   


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