- 4 large russet or Kennebec potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 by 1/4-inch thick batons
- 2 quarts peanut oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 recipe Homemade Ketchup, recipe follows
Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Cover with water by 1-inch and cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
In a deep-fryer, or a large, 4-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil to 325 degrees F. Be sure not to fill the oil beyond the maximum fill line.
Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth or tea towel and thoroughly pat dry. Add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a blond color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Use the basket, or a spider to carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.
When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 350 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
Homemade Habanero, Orange and Tomato Ketchup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 habanero, stemmed and seeded
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, with juices, broken into pieces
Set a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, habanero, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour the red wine and apple cider vinegar to the pan along with the brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, salt, mustard and mace. Bring to a boil and add the tomatoes and tomato juices to the pan. Continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, place in a food processor and puree until very smooth. Remove the ketchup from the food processor and store in a clean, nonreactive container. Store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
Yield: about 3 cups