Thursday, January 6, 2011

Best French Fries Ever!

So I am yet to make a good French fry at home that compares to a good restaurant French fry. I found a recipe that I think will come close. It's actually more of a formula than a recipe as it requires changing oil temperatures and double frying. As soon as I get a candy thermometer I will report back on that one. But for now, I thought a good discussion on what makes a good French fry was in order. Do you have a favorite place to get French fries? For me a fry needs to be crispy, salty, and have that mmm factor that just can't be described any other way. A really good fry does not need to be dipped. But it's more fun to dip, and I usually just stick with ketchup. Let me tell you my favorite fries and what makes them the best. In no particular order:
(all photos from google images)

Red Robin--a good thick-cut steak fry that is crispy on the outside, but what really makes it is the seasonings and can you say bottomless?

McDonalds--a classic that usually can't be beat. It's the way they are double fried that really makes them the best.

Five Guys--It's the peanut oil. I'm pretty sure they are the fattiest fries around, but who eats a French fry to be healthy?

Wendy's--slightly thicker cut than the McDonalds fries, and I think they have the perfect amount of salt and dipped in a frosty are the perfect guilty pleasure.

Well, there you have it. Those are the best in my book. Where do you go for your French fry fix? Do you like them thick cut or thin? Ketchup, fry sauce, plain, or some other concoction? Any special seasonings? Do you make them at home? Really, enlighten me. Who has the best fries where you live? I guess you could call this a passion of mine. I'm on a mission to find the best French fries ever and I need your help!

Funeral Potatoes

Ok, so this is kinda cheating because I've already posted this recipe, but a week of my favorite potato recipes would not be complete without funeral potatoes. They are my ultimate favorite way to eat potatoes with the exception of a good French fry. So, sorry for the repeat, but it's worth repeating.

Funeral Potatoes
10-12 good-sized potatoes (I usually use Russet)
1 can each of cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom or 2 cans cream of mushroom
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes (optional)

Boil, peel, and shred the potatoes. I usually use the shredder attachment on my food processor or I have used a cheese grater. While potatoes are boiling, mix the soups, sour cream, and seasonings. Add milk to the consistency you want. (I usually go for a consistency similar to mayonnaise; not too thick, but not too runny.) Stir in shredded potatoes. Spread the whole thing in a 9x13 casserole dish and top with bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes if you'd like. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until edges are bubbly. Remove foil the last 10 minutes. You can also make in advance and keep in the refrigerator, but you will need to allow for 60-75 minutes  in the oven if the potatoes are cold.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Smashed Red Potatoes

This recipe comes from my friend Heather's blog,, (she calls them Crash Hot Potatoes) and I think she got it from somewhere else. But that's the great thing about the blogosphere, we all get to share and benefit from each other. I loved this recipe because it was simple, with few ingredients, and delicious!

Smashed Red Potatoes
Red potatoes (2 per person...or more)
olive oil

Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Generously drizzle a cookie sheet with olive oil and place the cooked potatoes on the cookie sheet. Then smash the potatoes with a potato masher or heavy can once, turn 90 degrees and smash again. Drizzle olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rosemary. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown around the edges and slightly crispy on the bottom.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Red Potato Salad

This is not your traditional potato salad. It is much simpler with just 4 ingredients and it is tasty! I mean if you look at the ingredient list, how can you go wrong? This is definitely a go to recipe for me. Don't get me wrong, I love a classic potato salad, but this one is just different, in a good way.
(photo courtesy of't be fooled, this recipe is NOT from
Red Potato Salad
5-6 lbs. red potatoes, boiled until fork tender and cut into bite-sized pieces if necessary
1 bottle good ranch dressing or 1 packet ranch dressing prepared according to directions
1 lb. bacon chopped into small pieces and cooked until crispy
1 bunch green onions, diced (use as much or little as you like)

Slowly add the ranch to the potatoes to your desired consistency. Carefully toss all the ingredients together. Serve warm or cold. I usually eat a serving while it's still warm then chill before serving the rest.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I love potatoes! They are plentiful this time of year and most fresh produce is scarce, so they are my go to. Potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. So here is my week long tribute to the one and only potato!
I may have mentioned on here before my deep love for breakfast food. (I get it from my father.) Hashbrowns would have to top the list of favorite breakfast foods for me. Give me some eggs with a side of hashbrowns and bacon and I am one happy girl! I used to buy the big bags of frozen hashbrowns, but now that I know how easy these are, I usually stick to homemade. Generously salted with lots of ketchup, let's be honest, it's like having French fries for breakfast!

Potatoes (1-2 per person)
vegetable oil

Peel the potatoes and remove any bruised or rotten parts. Then grate them. I usually just use my cheese grater, but you can also use a grating attachment on your food processor. Then comes the tricky part, you need to squeeze out as much of the moisture as you possibly can. I usually take a handful of grated potatoes and squeeze them between my palms then pat them into a small pancake shape. I'm thinking you can probably squeeze the liquid out with a cheesecloth if you have one then form the potatoes into patties, that might be easier. Whatever method you choose, DO NOT SKIP this step. Removing the moisture is essential to a crispy hashbrown.

Once you have all your patties formed, heat about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a heavy pot or dutch oven. You know the oil is ready when you toss in one little piece of potato and it sizzles. Salt and pepper the potatoes before you cook them. Carefully place the potato patties in the oil and cook until crisp and brown on one side then flip. Only flip them once. Then drain on paper towels and eat with lots of ketchup!