Monday, 4 March 2013

Mia's FRITES (V)

Chips, fries, or frites – whichever name you prefer to use – they’re Belgian! And they take this responsibility very seriously. Made with potatoes, cooked twice and served in a paper cone with a side of mayonnaise, these Belgian treats embody potato perfection. Whether enjoyed at a Michelin star restaurant or right off the street, this Belgian specialty is not to be missed.

Belgian Frites are part of Belgian culinary and cultural heritage. Even if they are sometimes referred to as French Fries there is nothing French about them. Apparently the name originated due to a linguistic misunderstanding, because in old English ‘to French’ meant ‘cut into sticks’. According to the Belgian historian Jo Gerard, chips appeared on the dining tables in Namur, French speaking Ardennes and Dinant in the latter half of the 17th century. Poorer inhabitants in these towns used to fry tiny fish. When the river froze in the winter the fish were replaced by sticks of potatoes cut to the same small size of the fish.

The following recipe is my take on Belgian Frites at home, at the request of my four year old daughter Mia, who incidentally was born in Belgium.
4 Large Potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
Vegetable Oil for deep frying

Parboil the potato chips in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain. Preheat a deep saucepan 2/3 filled with frying oil to 160°C, cook chips for 5-6 minutes and drain on kitchen paper. Increase temperature of the oil to 180°C and return the chips until crisp and golden. Toss in salt and serve...

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