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Belgian Fries (Frietjes)
By Chef Ruth Van Waerebeek with Maria Robbins

Belgian Fries (Frietjes)

4 cups Vegetable Oil for frying
2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Russet Potatoes or Idaho Baking Potatoes peeled rinsed and dried
Salt to taste

Pour enough oil into a deep fryer to reach at least halfway up the sides of the pan, but not more than 3/4 of the way up.

Heat the oil to 325 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into sticks 1/2 inch wide and 2 1/2-3 inches long.

Dry all the pieces thoroughly in a clean dish towel. This will keep the oil from splattering.

Divide the potato sticks into batches of no more than 1 cup each. Do not fry more than one batch at a time.

When the oil has reached the desired temperature, fry the potatoes for 4-5 minutes per batch. They should be lightly colored but not browned. If your fryer has a basket, simply lift it out to remove the fried potatoes. Otherwise, use a long-handled skimmer to lift out the potatoes.

Be sure to bring the temperature of the oil back to 325 degrees in between batches. (At this point, the frietjes can rest for several hours at room temperature until you are almost ready to serve them.)

To finish cooking, heat the oil back to 375 degrees.

Fry the potatoes again, in 1-cup batches, until they are nicely browned and crisp, 1-2 minutes.

Drain on fresh paper towels or brown paper bags and place in a warmed serving dish lined with more paper towels.

Sprinkle generously with salt.

Never cover the potatoes to keep them hot because this will turn them soft and limp.

Also, for perfectionists, reserve some of the potatoes to fry halfway through the meal so they will all be crisp and piping hot.

Servings: 4