Is one type of french fry ever enough? The answer is a clear no. In this episode of Plateworthy, Chef Nyesha Arrington demonstrates her methods of making 10 different styles. But here we focus on the most intricate and playful version of the crispy potatoes: the French fries soufflées. „This is a technique that really takes some time and a lot of care,” says Arrington of the time-consuming process. „The reality is sometimes these potatoes don’t puff, but then you got some snacks while you wait.”
With the thinnest setting on her (very hot) mandolin, Arrington starts by slicing round Yukon gold potatoes and arranging them into pairs of similar sized pairs. She dusts one side of the pair with cornstarch and one side of the other piece with egg white and folds them together. She cuts through the layered disks with a ring shape to shape them into a perfect circle. Next, she fries them in oil heated to 325 degrees for five minutes and spoons the oil onto the floating chips. She finishes them off by sprinkling them with a little fine salt.
„Obviously it takes a lot of time, you’re not trying to make soufflées like 100 fries,” says Arrington as she describes how to use them as an amuse-bouche for a get-together of friends. “It’s like this show stopper. You serve a little caviar on top and it’s like the perfect little bit to get your mouth hpy up. ”
See the recipe for french fries soufflées below and Check out the video to see how Arrington makes more types of french fries including potato carving, steak cut, belgian style, cottage french fries, crinkle cut, waffle french fries, shoestring, curly french fries and a „potato tornado”.
2 pounds of Yukon Gold large potatoes
6 cups of rapeseed oil
1 egg white, beaten
½ cup of cornstarch
Fine salt for garnish
Step 1: Preheat your oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 325 degrees.
Step 2: Wash the potatoes and pat dry. Use a mandolin to slice the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.
Step 3: Line up the slices in two even rows on a large cutting board or clean work surface. Pat both sides of the potatoes dry with a tea towel. Sprinkle cornstarch on the top row of the potato slices to cover the top of each slice and brush off any excess with a dry pastry brush. On the bottom row, brush the top of each potato slice with egg white. From the top row, place each slice of potato cornstarch side down on each bottom slice to make twice the thickness, with the cornstarch and egg whites between the two layers.
Step 4: Use a 2 or 2 ¼ inch round cutter with sharp edges to cut each double layer to create circles. (You can put the leftover scrs in a container of cold water and reserve them for hash or french fries.)
Step 5: Add 3 circles at a time to the hot oil. For the first minute, constantly pour oil over the potatoes and pour over them so that the starch hardens and is not emptied. Turn each round with 2 wooden skewers or a set of chopsticks frequently until they puff up. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until light gold or golden brown. Use a slotted spoon or spider (a type of long-handled wire basket skimmer) to place on a towel-lined plate or refrigerated shelf with a bowl underneath to catch the oil. Season with fine salt.
* *Note: The temperature of the oil can change during work. So adjust the heat accordingly.
Dina Avila is a photographer based in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe tested by Ivy Manning and Marisa Robertson-Textor