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Robuchon Method for Fries

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No mention of Joel Robuchon!

The attribution is anecdotal in Steingarten's book, something along the lines of: "...said to be Joel Robuchons method to make fries at home."

Does anyone have other sources?

Hi,

Wikepedia and Food24.com both credit Robuchon. Pamela Anderson also credits Robuchon in her book, "Cook Smart".

FYI, rinsing the potatoes in ice water removes flavor.

Tim

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I tried the method las night. My first batch was slightly undercooked and my second slightly overcooked.... :angry:

I can already tell however that with a bit of practice, this can work great.

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I am up for any method that makes french fries easier, safer, faster, less fatty, or enhanced in any way whatsoever.

French fries rule, plain and simple.

Has anyone ever said: "No thanks, I don't care for french fries"? No, I think not.

"No thanks, I'm on a diet"? Well, maybe.

I chopped up a few local white potatoes and gave them a one hour soak in warm tap water:

gallery_42214_5579_28826.jpg

I placed a single layer in a cool non-stick skillet and poured in just enough corn oil to cover them:

gallery_42214_5579_46558.jpg

I turned the electric element on high and jiggled the pan occasionally:

gallery_42214_5579_20463.jpg

After ten minutes I had this:

gallery_42214_5579_64471.jpg

The whole family liked them:

gallery_42214_5579_26853.jpg

Summary:

Sure it worked, but I wouldn't call it a major breakthrough. I used the same quantity of oil as I would have for the usual method (spuds into hot oil). I still had to babysit them, and the bottoms browned much faster than the tops. I suppose arranging the fries in the cool pan is a bonus. There was no burst of steam or splattering, so that's a plus. If a second batch goes in, the oil is hot as with the usual method.

I suspect this method would work well if the potatoes were diced into little cubes, like hash browns.

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Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I used this method a few nights ago as well. The result was a crisp surface and a fluffy potato center, all one desires in a french fry. This method is not without caution however. The fries will stick to the bottom of your frying pan if they are left completely unattended. My advice is to jostle the fries occasionally to prevent sticking. It seems obvious to say, but I personally made the mistake and had to scrap a few fries off of the pan surface. The majority, however, were delicious. Thanks Joel.

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They look good Peter the eater..but I'm not totally convinced. Weren't we taught that food acts as a sponge when placed in room temp oil? Were they greasier than the conventional method?

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The way I make fries works. Cutting thin, rinsing, drying, putting them in nice brisk hot oil once or twice. The pictures of the results of this method to me do not look promising. Some of them definitely look grease sodden to me. I think there must be some kind of additional finesse to this method that is escaping us at this point. Or this method doesn't work as good as the old way. Shoot me.

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They look good Peter the eater..but I'm not totally convinced. Weren't we taught that food acts as a sponge when placed in room temp oil? Were they greasier than the conventional method?

The Robuchon method gave me potatoes (Robu-fries?) that were neither less nor more greasy than usual. I know what you mean by oil sponges - button mushrooms and eggplants come to mind as being very absorbent. Maybe the soaked potatoes are more dense and watery enough to repel the lipid.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Finally got to try the method this morning:

gallery_6903_111_55086.jpg

I used a russet potato which I peeled, cut, washed and dried. Put it into cold oil and adjusted thermostat to 350F. When the fries rose to the top of the oil I raised the thermostat to 400F and pulled the fries when I thought they had reached the colour I like.

I found them to be more greasy than usual and much less crispy on the outside than I like. The grease, however, was largely confined to the surface and might be overcome somewhat by rigorous blotting.

The other down side to this method is one of timing. I usually use the double-fry method which means that while my hunk of protein rests, I can quickly do the second fry and have hot fries ready to accompany the protein.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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How about a quick roast under a broiler after removing them from the oil? It would crisp them up even more and hopefully remove some of the oil.


Edited by hongda (log)

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How about a quick roast under a broiler after removing them from the oil?  It would crisp them up even more and hopefully remove some of the oil.

But all we are doing then is complicating something that seems so simple! :biggrin:

Nah, think I will stick with the double-fry method.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I made a wok full last night, trying this method for the first time, and the fries turned out really well.

The timing turned out to be similar to the CIA @ home method paraphrased upthread.

I'd definitely do this again for those times when we really want fried fries.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I tried this last night. My fries were from russet potatoes were cut to around 1/4 inch thick. I too was very skeptical but the results were excellent. The potatoes were cut washed and dried and placed in a cast iron skillet in cold peanut oil. I turned the heat up to high and watched. The potatoes do take on a translucent appearance before the oil heats up enough to crisp the edge. As the oil heated the potatoes browned very evenly and I removed them when they were golden brown. They were place on paper towels and tossed with salt. The results were very crisp fries with no detectable greasiness. Do they contain more oil than fries done in a more traditional method, I don't know. They didn't taste or feel greasy at all. It was clean, there was no splatter, it was easy, safe and the results were excellent. Goes against everything I thought was right but I can't argue with the end result.

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I had a "spare" russet, and tried this method. This actually my second attempt, the first using a single russet cut into match-sticks. Great reults. This time it was "planks" - very thin.

First experiment was wonderous. Here's the "plank method"

No shots of raw potatoes. I'm using a wok-shaped non-stick skillet.... a combo of plain veg oil topped off with a little olive oil...

After a 2-3 minutes and a toss or two:

gallery_51818_5752_146418.jpg

A bit more time.... Starting to see the crispy edges forming..

gallery_51818_5752_374841.jpg

HMM.. looking good...

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Then draining...

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And serving with a catsup/soy/garlic & chili sauce and W-sauce....

gallery_51818_5752_655911.jpg

A fine success! (If I do say so myself :laugh: )

Mine were more crispy than fluffy... some were like homemade pot chips.

Love this method!

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Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

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This method has not appealed to me only because we always make lots of fries. A single layer of potatoes in a skillet won't do.

I still wanted to see what would happen if we pushed this technique to another level.

We started with 2 lbs of russet potatoes cut into ~3/8" strips, soaked in water for an hour, then drained and left in the strainer to dry for half an hour.

The pot used is 9" I.D., the potatoes were placed in 1.5 quarts of corn oil (1.5") on a 14k BTU gas burner on HI.

gallery_39290_5897_9661.jpg

After about 20 minutes.

gallery_39290_5897_22701.jpg

At 25 minutes.

gallery_39290_5897_6862.jpg

We tried this 3 times (on different occasions) the same way.

The first time, a few potatoes stuck to the bottom and had to be scraped off about 7 minute into frying time. Potatoes were done in 25 minutes.

On the second try we tried stirring the fries more often in the beginning to avoid sticking. Didn't work.

The third time, we left the potatoes on the bottom alone and only moved the top layers around once or twice. The potatoes which were stuck released on their own. Again they we done in 25 minutes.

All three times the fries were great, but not superior. I can make better French fries using other methods. This way however, is the only one that allows us to set-it-and-forget-it and time the main course to be done at the same time.

Best part, there is no splatter and the stove top stays clean.

It's a keeper. :smile:

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Robouchon, smobouchon. My cajun grandmother, born in 1901, taught my father to do this, who taught me. I've done quite a bit of fieldwork among cajun cooks all over south Louisiana, and it is a very common practice to cook "fresh" potatoes (not storage potatoes, but rather the new crop, just dug out of the ground). I'd imagine that similar knowledge persists in potato-growing areas as well. The method certainly works--I've done it many, many times (though it does take longer than 5-7 minutes).

To further bend so-called conventional wisdom about frying, I've seen quite a few cooks pour a small amount of water into frying potatoes if they're browning too quickly. This is an outdoor technique, as the oil will bubble up furiously, so do be careful if you try it.

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I had the opportunity to taste the crinkle cut fries served at L'atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong recently. The exterior was crisp but delicate while the interior was fluffy and tender. I think that people used to fast food style french fries might even consider them a bit soggy in texture.

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This is a great technique. I use it at home pretty much every Sunday for breakfast.

I use 2/3 peanut oil to 1/3 duck fat. Then I reserve the fat to emulsify into a duck fat bloody mary ... kidding ... or am I?

In the restaurant I use the twice-fried technique using aged russets that I soak overnight to leach out excess starch.

It's my preferred technique but it's not very practical for home use.

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Interesting method, but for me its all about the spud - I search high and low for kennebec potatoes - Solanum tuberosum. I will even buy a 50# sack and share with all my friends - much cheaper too! They can sometimes be called processing potatoes on the sack. Wonderful for fries - good sugars. Make sure you get new crop and they will also store well.

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Bumping because of the reference in other threads. I have a 3.5 litre commercial grade deep fat fryer with basket (this object in fact http://www.nisbets.co.uk/Caterlite-Light-Duty-Single-Tank-Countertop-Fryer-3.5Ltr/GG198/ProductDetail.raction) - I fry rarely and only ever potatos. Could this method work in a standard deep fat fryer? What do you guys think? 8 mins at 190 degrees C works fine but am always open to other options....

 

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere. 

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I am also sticking Shelby fries in this thread for search purposes :)

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On 7/4/2016 at 6:54 PM, Tere said:

Bumping because of the reference in other threads. I have a 3.5 litre commercial grade deep fat fryer with basket (this object in fact http://www.nisbets.co.uk/Caterlite-Light-Duty-Single-Tank-Countertop-Fryer-3.5Ltr/GG198/ProductDetail.raction) - I fry rarely and only ever potatos. Could this method work in a standard deep fat fryer? What do you guys think? 8 mins at 190 degrees C works fine but am always open to other options....

 

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere. 

Dont see why not.

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ATK did a segment a few years ago based on this method:

Large pot halfway filled with 'neutral' tasting high heat room temp. oil.

Put in McDonald size raw room temp potatoes.

NO lid!

Bring to boil. Turn down heat to keep hard boil but not boil oil over.

Fries turn golden brown as the last water evaporates from the fries.

Crisp golden.

 

 

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