You can make crispy french fries at home with olive oil. Read on to learn the secret to crispy fries and why olive oil is great for frying!
Researchers in Spain made a remarkable discovery. Vegetables, such as potatoes, have more nutrients when fried in extra virgin olive oil then when boiled. The antioxidants and beneficial phenols in EVOO are transferred to the food. This is important because many people had assumed that the phenols in food and olive oil are destroyed by cooking. The study demonstrates that the phenols in olive oil survive the temperatures required for frying and improve the foods that have been fried. If you are going to eat fried foods, fry them in olive oil.
In fact, olive oil is an excellent frying oil. The fatty acid composition and the natural antioxidants in the oil give olive oil thermal resistance and protect the oil from breaking down under heat. Olive oil is very stable as a cooking oil, can be used multiple times, and does not generate trans fat when heated.
Another myth is that olive oil and extra virgin olive oil have too low of a smoke point to fry with. The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is high enough for just about all types of home cooking. Furthermore, recent research has shown the smoke point is not a reliable indicator of a cooking oil's stability.
Foods fried in olive oil are also delicious. Here is our trick for perfect french fries cooking with extra virgin olive oil. Fry them twice.
- Start with Russet or baking potatoes. These potatoes have a nice starchy texture and make better fries than waxier potatoes.
- If you like, peel the potatoes.
- Cut the potatoes into the shape you like.
- Soak the cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Soaking keeps the potatoes from sticking together and helps create a crispy exterior. Soak for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Drain them before frying.
- Get ready to fry. You can use a deep fryer if you have one, but we prefer a heavy bottom pot with a frying thermometer. Add the amount of olive oil needed to cover your potatoes and heat to 325° F. You can use extra virgin olive oil, or to save on cost, you can use refined olive oil or a combination.
- For the first fry, the objective is to blanch the potatoes. Add the well-drained fries in batches. Fry each batch for around 3 minutes. They should not change color. Remove with a skimmer and let rest on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. The objective is not to drain the oil. You are cooling them.
- For the second fry, heat the oil to 375° F. Fry the potatoes, again in batches, until golden brown.
- Season with salt and serve hot with aioli for dipping.
Try it out at home and let us know what you think!