Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garlic Frites

One of the great pleasures about being in Farm Country in The Dominican Republic is the food. The produce is absolutely fresh and as in everywhere the soil, the variety and the rain make a difference to the final taste.

California forgive me but the garlic is better than Gilroy Garlic. Gilroy garlic is known for lacking the harsh edge and being very food friendly, but the Dominican is strong and also sweet. Finely chopped or in a paste this is a garlic to be savored....even raw....and paired with the local potato...let's talk.

Most of the restaurants and Villas around here use the frozen french fries. Typically imported from the states, I find they leave much to be desired. The potatoes are of a high moisture content, which is not surprising considering the rainfall. I was not sure how they would fry as locally they are eaten boiled or in a puree for the most part.

 Out comes the knife and once again I am playing with my food.

1/2 large potato per person (Idaho is fine if you can't get the Dominican style)
1 clove of garlic per person finely chopped
1 tsp. of fresh parsley per person finely chopped
Oil for frying

Cut potatoes into fries, if you have a press or a mandolin the job will be easier but it takes only minutes with a knife. Put in a bowl and cover with water and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When you are ready to fry, remove from oil and place in a dry towel to remove excess moisture. Slowly lower into oil at 350 to 375 (Peanut Oil is preferred)

Fry until they are light tan. Take them out and let them rest above the oil. They can rest for 20 minutes or all day. What happens is that the interior of the potato steams this way and gives you a very soft creamy texture beneath the crisp bite. This is the secret the Belgian frites have used for years. When you are preparing for a crowd this is especially helpful as the final fry is so very fast.

Put into a final fry until crisp, when hot sprinkle liberally with salt, drain and toss into a bowl and toss in the garlic and parsley.

Now tell me those are not the best fries you have ever had. They beat those nasty processed McDonald's fries by miles and miles.

Or if you don't want to go to all that work you can vacation here and I will be happy to make them for you.

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