Although I am not lucky enough to have personally eaten at Balthazar (one of New York City's hottest restaurants), I am lucky enough to have received the gorgeous cookbook of the same name. The Balthazar Cookbook is a perfectly bound simple red book with 100 luscious color pictures and 40 b&w. In fact, the book is so gorgeous you will almost want to keep it out of the kitchen in fear that it will be ruined. However, if you did so, it would be a huge mistake. Nearly every recipe inside captures the energy and style of a French cafe - from goat cheese tarts to braised lamb shoulder, the recipes in this book are mouthwatering and tasty (if not a bit intensive). To learn how to make Balthazar's famous french fries (they serve more than 750 pounds of them each day),
This recipe is a bit intensive, you'll need to plan in advance and it requires frying everything twice, but the results are WORTH it.
6 Idaho Potatoes
2 Quarts Peanut Oil
Good-quality Sea Salt
This recipe will result in fries that are about 4 to 5 inches long and 1/4-inch-thick.
- Peel potatoes and cut each one lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Stack a few slices and cut lengthwise every 1/4 inch.
- Transfer sliced potatoes to a large bowl and cover with water.
- Refrigerate and soak overnight (at least 12 hours)
- Drain fries at least 20 minutes before cooking. Dry thoroughly on kitchen towels.
- Pour peanut oil into Dutch oven or large saucepan.
- Attach a candy thermometer to the pot to gauge oil's temperature and put pan over medium flame.
- When oil reaches a temperature of 370°F, add a third of the cut potatoes. The oil will drop to about 280°F.
- Cook for 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside on a baking sheet.
- Return oil to 370°F and add next batch. - Repeat until all fries are done.
- For the second fry, heat the same oil to 380°F. Add half the fries and cook for 3 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper while you fry the rest.
- Sprinkle with sea salt on a baking sheet and serve as soon as possible.
Note: They're soaked overnight to remove excess starch. The first fry cooks the potatoes thoroughly. The second fry crisps the exterior.