Les Pommes De Terre Pont Neuf

Fried Potatoes Pont Neuf

These potatoes, which are what we call “long chips,” derive their name from the famous bridge in Paris in the vicinity of which the street-vendors of “chips” were famed for the excellence of their fried potatoes. And trade was brisk at the luncheon hour when the “midinettes” left their work for a hurried midday meal.

Although the recipe I give is a simple one, and quite easy, even for the amateur, certain rules have to be strictly observed if good results are to be obtained. One of the first rules is that the “long chips” should be cut all of exactly the same size, both as regards length and thickness. Otherwise some will be cooked before the others, and if they remain in the hot oil a minute or two longer than they should they will be hard and tough, and the dish will be spoilt. Another secret of perfect chips of any description is that oil should be used for frying, that there should be plenty of it, and that it should be very hot when the potatoes are put in. Oil is by far the best fat to use for frying potatoes—potatoes fried in oil, when properly done, are quite dry and free from all grease. Those done in dripping always retain a trace and flavour of fat.

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Ingredients

  • A few large, firm potatoes, as far as possible of the same size. A deep pan of frying oil. Salt.

Method

Peel the potatoes, and with a sharp knife trim each end and the four sides of each potato, so as to give it a square shape. Then cut lengthwise into slices just under ½ inch in thickness. Lay these slices one on top of the other, and again cut them lengthwise into little sticks, also ½ inch thick. The result will be that all the chips are of exactly the same size, if carefully cut in this manner. The trimmings from the potatoes can be utilised in various ways—for making potato soup, for purée, etc.—and need not be wasted.

Dry the chips in a cloth and put them in a deep pan of very hot oil—the pan should be sufficiently large to allow the potatoes to “swim”—on no account should the potatoes be closely packed in a small pan. Fry till they begin to turn a very light golden colour and till the surface is crisp and the inside of the chip soft. When done, remove rapidly from the hot oil with a skimmer, put them on a clean cloth to drain, sprinkle with salt, and put them in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes. Serve very hot.

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