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Tuscan Fries

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

This is revolutionary: you put the raw chipped potatoes into cold oil, then heat it up. It sounds crazy, but it works. You’d think it would make them unbearably greasy but in fact you end up with crisp, oil-free fries of utter fabulousness.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is revolutionary: you put the raw chipped potatoes into cold oil, then heat it up. It sounds crazy, but it works. You’d think it would make them unbearably greasy but in fact you end up with crisp, oil-free fries of utter fabulousness.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Tuscan Fries
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 1 kilogram waxy potatoes (such as Maris Piper/Yukon Gold)
  • 1½ litres corn oil or flavourless vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 bulb garlic (cloves unpeeled)
  • 8 tender top sprigs of a mixture of fresh thyme and rosemary and sage (or herbs of your choice)
  • sea salt flakes (to taste)
  • 2¼ pounds waxy potatoes (such as Maris Piper/Yukon Gold)
  • 1½ quarts corn oil or flavourless vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 bulb garlic (cloves unpeeled)
  • 8 tender top sprigs of a mixture of fresh thyme and rosemary and sage (or herbs of your choice)
  • kosher salt (to taste)

Method

  1. Cut the short ends off each potato (but don’t peel it) so that it can sit up vertically, and then slice it downwards into generous 1cm / ½-inch slices. Cut these slices into chips about 1cm / ½-inch thick; again, err on the generous side. Load up a clean tea towel with the chips as you cut them.
  2. Put the oil into a wide, heavy-based pan (mine is approx. 28cm / 11-inches diameter and 11cm / 4½-inches deep), and add the freshly cut chipped potatoes. Then put the pan over a high heat and bring to a boil, which should take about 5 minutes. Keep a careful watch on the pan at all times.
  3. Continue to cook the fries, without stirring them, for another 15 minutes. The pan will be bubbling vigorously. If the oil gets too hot or bubbles too hard, reduce the heat a little, and always keep a close eye on it. (If you’re using a thermometer, once the oil temperature reaches 160°C / 325°F, turn down the heat slightly and keep the fries cooking at between 150–160°C / 300-325°F.)
  4. Now you can very carefully give the chips a gentle stir with a pair of tongs held in an oven glove, moving any that have stuck to the bottom or sides of the pan. Add the unpeeled cloves of garlic to the pan, stir gently again, and cook for another 5–10 minutes (watching the temperature and making sure the garlic doesn’t look burnt or the fries too dark), before testing a chip for crispness on the outside and tenderness on the inside. Do not burn your mouth, though! You might need another 5 minutes or so beyond this, but stand by your pan: the chips can turn from a cooked gold to a burnt bronze quickly.
  5. At the point when the chips are pale gold, but crisp, toss in the herbs, then after a minute or so scoop everything out – using a couple of perforated scoops for ease, and wearing oven gloves to protect your hands – onto a tray or platter lined with a double thickness of kitchen roll. Once any excess oil has been absorbed, tip the chips off the kitchen paper clatteringly onto the plate and sprinkle with sea salt flakes to taste, serving immediately.
  1. Cut the short ends off each potato (but don’t peel it) so that it can sit up vertically, and then slice it downwards into generous 1cm / ½-inch slices. Cut these slices into chips about 1cm / ½-inch thick; again, err on the generous side. Load up a clean tea towel with the chips as you cut them.
  2. Put the oil into a wide, heavy-based pan (mine is approx. 28cm / 11-inches diameter and 11cm / 4½-inches deep), and add the freshly cut chipped potatoes. Then put the pan over a high heat and bring to a boil, which should take about 5 minutes. Keep a careful watch on the pan at all times.
  3. Continue to cook the fries, without stirring them, for another 15 minutes. The pan will be bubbling vigorously. If the oil gets too hot or bubbles too hard, reduce the heat a little, and always keep a close eye on it. (If you’re using a thermometer, once the oil temperature reaches 160°C / 325°F, turn down the heat slightly and keep the fries cooking at between 150–160°C / 300-325°F.)
  4. Now you can very carefully give the chips a gentle stir with a pair of tongs held in an oven glove, moving any that have stuck to the bottom or sides of the pan. Add the unpeeled cloves of garlic to the pan, stir gently again, and cook for another 5–10 minutes (watching the temperature and making sure the garlic doesn’t look burnt or the fries too dark), before testing a chip for crispness on the outside and tenderness on the inside. Do not burn your mouth, though! You might need another 5 minutes or so beyond this, but stand by your pan: the chips can turn from a cooked gold to a burnt bronze quickly.
  5. At the point when the chips are pale gold, but crisp, toss in the herbs, then after a minute or so scoop everything out – using a couple of perforated scoops for ease, and wearing oven gloves to protect your hands – onto a tray or platter lined with a double thickness of kitchen roll. Once any excess oil has been absorbed, tip the chips off the kitchen paper clatteringly onto the plate and sprinkle with kosher salt to taste, serving immediately.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • I can't believe how good this recipe is. Best chips ever and you cook from cold in the oil. Who knew? These are genuinely so good we have them twice in a week and thats two time more than we normally have chips!

    Posted by Bertie46 on 29th August 2020
  • Very good. I may try with olive oil next time. These were very tasty but not as crisp as expected. The touch of garlic and herbs is a great idea. Brava!

    Posted by Mollymers on 10th May 2020
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