For some reason I had this insane idea to create a fried potato basket for a 6-course Thanksgiving dinner I prepared last year. I’ve never attempted such a feat and strangely the internet let me down with little to no assistance. Not unlike most things I’ve done in my life, I decided to experiment. (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) With enormous success I am happy to say I made a great fucking fried potato basket. I apologize for the F-bomb.
You will need:
- russet potatoes, washed (peeled is your decision)
- canola oil
- canola spray
- two concave metal mesh strainers
- candy or oil thermometer
- 16 year lagovulin scotch to celebrate
I shredded the potatoes and then (very important) patted dry with a paper towel. You don’t want any water or excess moisture dropping into a vat of hot oil. Speaking of hot oil, it’s important to use Canola oil for this project. If you decide to go with, say, peanut oil then the spray-oil must be of a matching smoke point, i.e. the oil that you use for frying the baskets should match the spray-oil.
It took awhile to get the oil to the right temperature–it’s like steering a boat. You can’t lower the burner and expect an immediate result. On my gas stove I was at the lower end of medium-high. You want the oil somewhere around 350. If the oil starts to smoke, it’s too hot.
Once you have your shredded potatoes and you are confident the oil is at the right temperature, spray both strainers with oil. Press the potatoes into the basket to form a 1/8″ layer. (Not too thin, not too thick.) Nest the 2nd strainer on top of the potatoes. Gently place the strainers into the oil. I wore an oven mitt and held onto both handles to keep the top strainer from floating off. These fry very quickly so you won’t get bored.
After a few minutes the potatoes will look golden brown. Remove from the oil and let cool for a few moments. The strainers and potato basket should separate easily. Spray the strainers with canola again and repeat!
The possibilities are endless… fill with a salad, roasted veggies or in my case I filled with more potatoes. Roasted garlic mashed potatoes with broiled gruyere. Don’t forget to celebrate with some 16 year Lagovulin scotch.