MMMMMMMM…..French fries. We all love them, but the health benefits are pretty hard to come by. It is too bad that something that tastes so good is not also good for you. But isn’t that always the case? It doesn’t matter if you get the fast food kind, or a fancy fry from a more upscale establishment, they are all at least a little bit bad for you. One of the only ways to enjoy this food without worrying about how bad they are for you is to make them at home. Now this can seem like an impossible task, but it can be really easy if you have the right tools.
When you get french fries at a restaurant, they are almost always fried. We all know how healthy fried food is, so if you can avoid frying your french fries, you will cut out most of the bad stuff. Cooking oil is loaded with fat, and when submerged, for cooking, the potatoes will absorb it, and retain much of the fat. Once you take that first delicious bite, you begin ingesting all of that fat, and it is hard to stop because they taste so darn good. There are also detrimental carcinogens that are created when you cook french fries at such a high temperature. This being the case, one of the best ways to make french fries healthier is to bake them instead of frying. Many people might think that you can just buy a bag at the store in the frozen food isle, and take them home to bake and you are all set, but frozen vegetables are no where near as flavorful as fresh ones, and almost all of those frozen fries have actually been cooked a little bit prior to going in that bag. And guess what they cook them in? You guessed it. Oil. They are actually fried before being packaged, so the only real way to prevent your fries from being fried is to make them yourself from scratch.
Now, it wouldn’t be advised to try and use a knife to cut up all those french fries because it would take forever, and you would never get the uniform results that you want unless you spent a ridiculous amount of time on it. If you cut french fries with a knife, you would probably do it once, and then wonder what you were thinking afterward. You may even drive yourself crazy before you are able to complete the task at all. In order to come up with a pan full of thinly sliced potatoes, you could literally spend hours, which is not fun, and really takes all of the joy out of this great treat.
How To Do It
In order to realistically make your own french fries at home, you will want to have the proper tool. You could go out and get one of those commercial grade french fry cutters that restaurants use, but it is only good for one task, and lets face it, none of us like french fries enough to justify that. Of course if you are planning on going into the french fry business then by all means go right ahead and look for one of those. Most of us would prefer a great kitchen tool that can do all sorts of cool stuff, one of them being cut shoestring french fries. The Borner V-Slicer is just such a tool. It is a high quality mandolin slicer that can slice, dice, chop, julienne, and yes….cut french fries.
The V-Slicer is incredibly easy to use, and can cut tons of fries in a short amount of time. The super sharp German steel blade makes quick work of the hardest vegetables. It is so sharp that it comes with a safety food holder that allows you to cut every last piece of food without risking a finger. The same technique that will get you french fries, will also allow you to make veggie sticks of all varieties. You can also slice tomatoes, dice onions, and all sorts of other jobs too. Buy it to make fries, and end up using it more for all of the other stuff it does well. This great mandolin works better than similar units with a pricetag four times as high.
Step By Step Instructions
- To cut your fries, simply wash your potato and peel if desired.
- Once peeled and/or cleaned, insert the potato into the food holder. It will be held securely in place by the metal prongs that stick into the vegetable you are cutting.
- In order to turn the potato in to sticks, you will need to insert one of the two julienne blade inserts it comes with. The difference in the two blades is the width of the cut, so choose your favorite thickness of fry and insert that blade. Most folks will want the larger blade size, but some of you like them extra thin. You can also purchase a fat steak fry insert separately, but it will come with two that are suitable for cutting shoestring fries just like the ones you eat at your favorite restaurant .
- Once the blade is secure, just set the slicer on the counter so that you are holding it with one hand, and the bottom feet are resting on the counter. Placing over a plate, cutting board or in a bowl will help with collection, and you could even slice right out onto your baking sheet for convenience. There is even a slice and serve bowl designed to work with the slicer so it rests securely and everything falls inside.
- Pick up the potato in the safety food holder with your dominant hand, and steady the slicer with your other one. To slice, simply slide it down the face of the unit, and continue with a back and forth motion until the whole potato has been cut. You will notice that the blade insert will cut vertically into the potato to form strips, and at the same time the v-shaped blade will cut horizontally across the spud to complete the cut. Just a single pass will result in several fries all at once.
- After you are done with one, reload and follow the same steps until you have the portion size you need. It should only take a matter of seconds to reduce each one to strips, so a family size portion can be prepared in minutes. You are able to achieve uniform, professional looking results without any skill, and very little effort. This slicer is so easy to use, that it makes it simple for anyone to make their own french fries right at home. The blade is incredibly sharp so even potatoes cut quickly and cleanly with this slicer.
- Once finished, hand wash or place in the dishwasher, and then proceed below for cooking instructions.
Cooking Your Fries
Once cut, it is time to cook your fries. Now you could certainly deep fry or pan fry them if you wish, but to make a healthier fry you will want to bake them in the oven. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. You can drizzle with olive oil, and add salt, pepper and any other spices that you like. Once that is done, simply pop them into a preheated oven and cook away. For best results, you will want to cook them at a high temperature in the 400 degree range. Cooking times will vary depending on thickness, but basically you want to cook them until they are a nice golden brown. After they are cooked, take them out and enjoy with a nice side of ketchup.
With the V-slicer from Borner, this and many other intricate tasks are made super easy. It is an incredibly useful tool that will not only allow you to slice perfect french fries from raw potatoes, but so many other jobs too. Make uniform orange slices, cut onions and tomatoes for cheeseburgers, slice veggie sticks, or even dice an onion. Soft or hard veggies, it doesn’t matter. The V-Slicer will cut them perfectly without squishing, bruising, breaking or anything else.