Comments on: Tech The Halls: Easy Holiday Cocktails and Treats The International Culinary Center's Tech 'N Stuff Blog Thu, 09 Jan 2014 18:17:16 +0000 hourly 1 By: Dave A Thu, 17 Dec 2009 11:55:15 +0000 Hey JK,
I’m glad it worked!

By: Dave A Thu, 17 Dec 2009 11:52:53 +0000 JK,
Let us know how the fries come out.

By: Dave A Thu, 17 Dec 2009 11:46:34 +0000 Howdy TomD,
I am working on that post right now. You raise some issues I wasn’t going to cover so I’ll try to add them in. Thanks.

By: JK Thu, 17 Dec 2009 02:01:58 +0000 Thanks a bunch. That french fry recipe worked great.

I monitored the temperature and it does drop significant on my gas stove when I drop the fries into the oil. First frying 90f, 2nd frying 60f – which is strange even though the fries were chilled (outside). It still worked which surprised me a bit.

The salty water from the first blanching does ton’s for the flavor and the crispness lasts. It’s worth a dedicated post IMHO even though not many people fry at home.

By: jk Tue, 15 Dec 2009 04:54:06 +0000 Thanks for the long answer, I have some cue points now. I have to try the boiling method next weekend. I always thought that just works on thick cut fries, I like the 1/4″ not the 3/8. I forgot to mention that I use the double frying method that is taught at a certain french cooking school in NYC (amateur class). It worked for me back then, so it can only be the potato or my stove. Temp drops sometimes 50 to 75f and takes few minutes to recover. I recall it dropped on the professional stove in class as well, it may have recovered faster though. I use a 6qt fryer with a bit more then half gallon of oil. Welcome to home cooking an 20$ a gallon peanut oil price.

I report back soon, have to have this figured out by christmas as I want to do a classic NYC style steak dinner.

By: TomD.Arch Mon, 14 Dec 2009 23:51:39 +0000 Woot! Thanks for the script to use with the welding supply joint – but please bring on the critical “how to not anti-griddle your hands/face/dog” info so that I can put it to use. Mwahahahahha! er … uh … I mean, “Yipee!”

(Also, I would appreciate info on procuring smaller quantities, assuming it would save a few bucks.)
((oh, and while I’m thinking about it – if you can, please address issues related to LN dewars+personal autos. I don’t know if you guys mess around with cars there in Manhattan. I assume that the welding supply delivery would be on the back of an open truck – if you pick up a smaller dewar, is this a bad idea? I’m picturing a “rapid release” in your trunk and the car filling with non-oxygen containing gas, making respiration difficult, plus clouds of condensed water vapor making “seeing where you’re going” difficult. Once you’ve used up your tank, are they “trunkable” in size to make return easier than scheduling a pick-up?))

By: Dave A Mon, 14 Dec 2009 17:40:35 +0000 Whoops. Schinderhannes caught me! It is one of my strange quirks that I cook meats and eggs in Celcius but fry and bake in Fahrenheit. The only reason the first fry temp is in C is because my fryer at home (which has both C and F) has a major mark at 170 C, and thats where I peg it. I’ll fix the comment!

By: schinderhannes Mon, 14 Dec 2009 15:05:12 +0000 Dave you just ruined my kitchen!

After the fist frying at 170 C, I assumed the second temp rating in your experimental was also Celsius.
There seems to be no way I can get it the oil up to 365 C, somewhere north of 250 C it self ignited!


By: Dave A Sat, 12 Dec 2009 15:55:50 +0000 Howdy JK,
I don’t think old taters should help but I’ll look into it. Make sure you don’t use refrigerated taters cause they’ll develop sugar and brown too quickly in the fryer, or taters that have been stored in the light and gone green (the green is poison). Presumably, old taters might help if their water content is reduced. Dunno. My oil temp doesn’t drop much; but I’m using a fryer that holds 35 pounds of oil! You should be able to get good results on a stovetop. In any event, let’s troubleshoot:
What size are your fries? Do you rinse before you blanch in water? How salty is the blanch water? How cooked are the taters when they come out of the blanch water? Are they dried right away? In a thin layer? With forced air (fan or hair dryer) or in a convection oven? What is the temperature of your first fry? What is the color/texture of the surface of the fry immediatedly after removing from the oil (and I do mean immediately). Are they allowed to cool? Are they refigerated or frozen at this point? What is the temperature of the second fry? What is the color/texture after the second fry?
If you give me these parameters I can troubleshoot. In a nutshell I treat all potatoes the same for fries (although some work better than others. Here is the technique I use at home:
1. Peel taters. The skins don’t get as crispy in a fry.
2. Cut into 3/8 inch fries into a container of water
3. rinse starch from fries
4. Blanch in salty water (pot can be overloaded, the time it takes to come back to temperature isn’t critical) till the fries are just cooked through. They taste great if they are really cooked, but they are harder to handle. try to strike a good balance. The salt is important for pre-seasoning the fries.
5. Immediately pour into a thin layer and dry using the high fan of a convection oven, a room fan set on high, or a hair dryer set on high (I like the hair dryer cause the heat helps get rid of surface moisture. Getting rid of the surface moisture is absolutely critical. The fries should feel leathery on the surface.
6. Fry at 338 F (170 C) till the fries just start to color and the surface is hard when tapped with your finger when it comes out of the oil. If your fries weren’t cooked enough in the blanching step you will need to use a lower fry temp. We can use a high temp cause the fry is already done. We are just developing the crust and further dehydrating the fries.
7. Let cool. The fries will go limp as moisture migrates to the surface. At this point we have layed the foundation for an excellent fry. You can optionally freeze the fries at this point. If you do fry directly from frozen like the big guys do. This allows you to fry longer and develop a preposterously crunchy crust that lasts a looong time. Freezing also tends to develop “hollow fry” syndrome. I like a frozen fry, Nils doesn’t. Experiment.
8. Fry a second time at 365-380F (185-193C) till deep golden brown and crunchy.
9. Shake them like a demon to get the oil off as soon as they are done.
10. Salt and eat.

By: Dave A Sat, 12 Dec 2009 15:34:40 +0000 Howdy Kelly,
I will look into the preservatives. The trees we were using were trucked in from Quebec. I’ll also try to see if the stuff they use would stay in the distillation flask or be transferred to the distillate. I agree the Gluhwein is good stuff. My wife likes it cause she spent four years in Germany and has very fond memories of Weihnachtsmarkt und lebkuchen.