Beer-Battered Fries

Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
50 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Oil, preferably peanut or grapeseed, for frying
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups light beer, such as pilsner
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into batons 3 inches long, 1/2 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick, soaked in cold water
Directions
  • Special equipment: a deep-frying thermometer

  • Fill a small Dutch oven with 3 to 4 inches of oil and heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil registers 325 degrees F. Line a large plate or baking sheet with paper towels.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, paprika, baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add 1 cup of the beer and stir until smooth, adding more beer a tablespoon at a time if necessary until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream. Set aside.

  • Using kitchen towels, dry the potatoes thoroughly. Working in batches, slide the potatoes into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove to the towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt.

  • Raise the oil temperature to 350 degrees F. Dip the partially cooked fries a few at a time in the batter to coat. Using a fork, slide the coated potatoes 1 at a time into the oil, about 6 or 8 in a batch so as not to overcrowd the pan. Use a metal skimmer or tongs to keep them separate, as they tend to cling together. Cook until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to fresh paper towels to drain. Serve immediately.

There are 2 advantages to double-frying the fries. First, you ensure that they are cooked through without burning the batter. Second, you can do the first fry in advance and hold them, par-cooked, for several hours. Batter them up for the second fry right before serving, and they are hot and crispy to bring to the table.

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