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Flip over French Fries!

 It’s National French Fry Day!

It’s only right that there’s a whole day dedicated to celebrating french fries! Monday, July 13 is National French Fry Day and I’m all in to honor this potassium rich and delicious way to cook potatoes.  Before jumping into the world of fries, I feel like it’s necessary to pay my respects to the foundation of any good french fry.

I absolutely love potatoes. It’s one of my top favorite foods to make when I’m at away at college or at home. There are infinite ways to cook potatoes, so it can never be boring to make or unsatisfying to eat. One of our nation’s favorite ways to enjoy potatoes is the ever-classic french fry. I’ve never met someone who said, “I don’t like fries.” In fact, one of my best friends at college loves them so much, that it’s her password for multiple websites. But shhh … don’t tell her I told you that!

Unfortunately however, due to the fast-food industries, french fries have become incredibly unhealthy: loaded with salt and saturated in oils. I haven’t eaten fast-food fries (or fast food in general) in years, because I did not like the sluggish feeling I got after eating them. It was certainly not a pleasant experience.

We should feel refreshed and well nourished after eating any kind of food. Luckily, we aren’t confined to only eating the fries that come from these chain restaurants. AND, we aren’t restricted to only using potatoes for our fries either. We can use other vegetables to make french fries too! Whether we use carrotsturnipszucchinisplantains, or the more popular sweet potatoes, they’re all delicious sides to pair with any meal!

Seeing as we’re in the hot months of the summer, no one wants to be confined to cooking in the kitchen. But fortunately, these vegetable fries can also be cooked on the grill. So now you have the ability to be outside and enjoy a warm summer evening. If you want to tap into your professional grilling skills, check out our general tips about cooking on the grill. But if you’d rather stay inside, that’s fine! French fries can be cooked in the oven or even the old fashioned way — in a big pot with vegetable oil.

How to get started:

  1. Peel the potatoes. If you prefer to leave the skin on, that’s fine too!
  2. Cut the potato in equal sizes for even cooking. 
  3. Soak your strips in a bowl of ice water to make sure they don’t stick to one another.

Frying potatoes:

  1. Heat the oil for frying — you’ll need an oil that you can heat to a high temperature without changing the flavor. Try using canola or peanut oil for best results.
  2. In a heavy deep 3-quart saucepan or fryer, heat the oil to 365 °F. Make sure that the pan is no more than half full.
  3. Using paper towels, pat the potatoes thoroughly to dry before putting into the oil.
  4. Fry the potatoes in batches about 5 to 6 minutes, until tender in the center and the edges are crisp and golden brown, turning once.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the fries from the hot oil, and transfer to clean paper towels to drain. If you want, you can sprinkle with salt! Keep the cooked fries warm on a baking pan in the oven while frying remaining potatoes.

Baking and grilling fries:

  1. Baking fries and grilling fries have similar instructions, but will vary depending on your recipe.
  2. Coat or season the fries according to recipe instructions.
  3. Preheat the oven or grill between 425 to 450 °F, depending on your recipe.
  4. Evenly distribute the fries on a pre-oiled or sprayed baking sheet or grill pan.
  5. Flip the fries about halfway through cooking for even crisping.
  6. Remove fries from the oven, and place in a paper towel-lined bowl to serve. Try other dipping sauces as well as ketchup.
It’s a quick and easy dish to make, so give it a try! It’s a National French Fry Celebration!  Time to sit back, relax, and start your week off right with some healthy, delicious fries. You have a world of potatoes and vegetables to choose from, so dig in!

submitted by Haley York, DinnerTime intern

Here are some recipes for fries that I love:

Delicious fries with loads of flavor

A great side or snack for the whole family

Crispy and delicious