Today is National Julienne Fries Day. Would you believe if you search out the term “Julienne” for some hint as to its roots (beyond French), you will actually find the question “What are Julienne Fries made of” – like you might make Julienne Fried Hot Dogs. Hum, that might not be a bad idea.
Julienne is a culinary knife cut. Simply put, it means to cut vegetables into small, thin strips about the size of a fireplace matchstick. We’ve already established that the term is French in origin, derived from the generic use of a first name. It’s believed to be derived from the name Jules or Julien (not Julie Anne). Whether the terms was coined after a famous chef is one of those mysteries lost in the mist of time.
Some people swear by Julienne Fries, preferring the crisp matchstick over waffle fries or steak fries or my personal favorite, crinkle cut fries. Although I do believe skinny fries go best with grilled hot dogs. Don’t ask why, it’s a personal think. Steak fries with – steaks of course. Crinkle cuts with hamburgers. And waffle fries – never, unless used as a base for some potato-topped appetizers.
Happy National Julienne Fries Day everyone! Enjoy.
Julianne French Fries
4 large Russet Potatoes
Kosher Salt to taste
Note: Try to select potatoes that are longer than they are wide. For more uniformed cuts, the potatoes should be similar in size.
Prepare an ice water bath for the potatoes. Wash and peel potatoes; removing any dark spots or blemishes. Cut ends and sides to create rectangular potatoes.
Using a mandoline slicer fitted with the julienne blade or sharp knife to slice potatoes into long thin uniformed matchsticks. Place sliced potatoes in the prepared ice water bath and chill 10 minutes.
Remove potatoes from water bath; place on paper towels and dry completely. The dryer the potatoes, the less excess splattering there will be.
Meanwhile, het 4 inches of oil in a large, deep, pan, Dutch oven, or deep fryer. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature and heat oil to 325-degrees.
Once oil has reached temperature, place dried potatoes into the oil in batches (about a cup at a time) and stir to separate them. Adjust temperature to keep it as close to 325-degrees as possible.
Fry for 1 or 2 minutes (no browning yet), remove from oil using a spiderweb spatula or large slotted spoon. Drain on a brown paper bag.
Once all the fries have had their first dip in the oil, begin the second round of frying. Just as before, fry the potatoes for 1 or 2 minutes, until they are beautifully browned and crisp.
Remove from oil to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.