Tuesday, February 1, 2011

THE REAL DEAL FRIES with ketchup of course!

Makes 4 servings with extra ketchup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes for fries, 30 minutes for ketchup

For the ketchup
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 large plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 4 cups)
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
¾ cup tomato paste
¼ cup brown sugar
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar

For the fries
2 large russet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 quart canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in the tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until the veggies are soft, about 20 minutes. Use a hand held blender (or food processor) to emulsify the veggies. Return to the pot. Stir in the tomato paste, sugar, bay leaf, cloves, allspice, mace, pepper, cinnamon, mustard and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and strain through a sieve (or blend again with hand held blender or food processor).

Heat the canola oil in a deep pot to 325 degrees. Peel the potatoes. Cut into ¼-inch slices. Stack and slice lengthwise into ¼-inch strips. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cook the fries in the oil (in batches) until soft, but not golden, about4 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or wire basket to transfer the fries to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Chill the fries, in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Stir together the salt, pepper and paprika.

Reheat the oil to 375 degrees. Cook the cold fries in oil, in batches, until crisp and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or wire basket to transfer to the rack. Sprinkle with seasoned salt.

To serve, mound the fries into a basket and ladle the ketchup into a dipping bowl.

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