Garlic And Thyme Sweet Potato Fries
I was going to take a pretty picture of the most tasty Garlic and Thyme Sweet Potato Fries; however, my taster, along with 8 other tasters, had something else in mind... The secret to crispy French fries is that they are fried twice. The first time cooks them through and makes them tender. The second time, which can be done hours later just before serving, turns them golden brown and deliciously crisp.
Sweet potatoes peeled and cut in 1/4 to 1/2 inch strips
Water for soaking
Duck fat or peanut oil *See tip
Chopped or pressed garlic
Fresh thyme removed from stalk
Corn starch (Aproximately 1Tbsp / sweet potato)
Soak potatoes in cold water for at least 1/2 hr, and up to 4 hrs. Soaking is a key... This removes the starch, keeps the potatoes from sticking together, and eliminates the sugars that prevent the potatoes from achieving maximum crispness.
Strain and allow to dry completely.
In the meantime, heat oil in a large, deep pot to 325 degrees. (Avoid using non stick.) Cast iron, enamel, or stainless steel would work best.
After fries are completely dry, toss them in a bowl with the corn starch to coat.
Carefully blanch a handful or two of fries (depending on the size of your pot, they can layer, but don't overcrowd them) for about 5 min, stirring regularly to prevent any sticking to the bottom. Remove fries from the oil onto a paper towel lined plate or cookie sheet. Let them cool down and sweat for at least 1/2 hr. Finally, reheat the oil to 375 and fry for another 5 min or until crispy and browned.
Salt liberally and toss with the *garlic and thyme. *For the garlic and thyme: Carefully sauté garlic and thyme in a small amount of oil as to not burn the garlic. This should only take a minute or two. Turn off the heat and let stand for at least 1/2 hr. This can me made ahead of time. Just store in an airtight container and place in the fridge. Take out and let it come to room temperature before using
*Cooking with duck fat is cookery at its tastiest. Duck fat seems to turn anything it touches into culinary gold! The combination of duck fat and potatoes is a match made in food heaven. It enhances the earthy potato flavor and forges a perfect brown crust! I realize however that it's not always easily accessible, and can cost an ample penny or two. DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO USE IT! These fries are great without it, but if you feel up to the task, by all means, you will not be disappointed!