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Old 08-28-2006, 03:30 PM   #1
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Deep frying in olive oil

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a restaurant here in Spain where they served the very best chips/French fries I've ever had. I asked what the secret was and the man told me they were home-cooked from fresh potatoes (not frozen fries) in olive oil.

This surprised me because I was under the impression that deep frying in olive oil was not recommended.

Does anyone here deep fry chips/fries in olive oil and if so what would you recommend as regards time and temperature? I'd love to try and repeat the results. They're not the kind of thing one should eat too often, I imagine, but if you're going to have fries, they might as well be good ones!

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 08-28-2006, 03:39 PM   #2
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Comparing fresh fries made with fresh potatoes in ANY kind of oil to frozen just isn't fair. The fresh version will taste better regardless of what kind of oil is used.

Lower grades of olive oil have higher smoke points and can be used for deep frying. However, if you use the oil more than once, the smoke point is lower each time and then you have the possibility of bad tasting fried food and fire.

Cut peeled russet potatoes into 3/8 inch strips. Soak them in cold water for 20-30 minutes to remove some of the surface starch, then pat dry thoroughly. Wet potatoes going into oil will cause foaming and spattering - very dangerous.

Put the oil into a pot large enough so it is no more than half full. Heat oil to 325F and cook the potatoes in small batches until they are limp and starting to brown slightly around the edges. Remove them to a paper towel until they cool to room temperature.

Increase the oil temp. to 375-400F and cook the potatoes a second time to brown and crisp them.

Salt immediately upon removal from the oil.
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Old 08-28-2006, 03:41 PM   #3
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I have not deep-fried chips (as in french fries) in olive oil, but did shallow-fry thin-sliced potato chips in olive oil a few times, & both husband & I LOVED them. I could hardly make enough; the flavor was so wonderful. I imagine fries wouldn't be much different except for the quantity of oil.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:41 PM   #4
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Thanks Andy M and BreezyCooking. In fact I do fries from fresh potatoes in sunflower oil (can't get peanut or corn oil at an economically viable price to deep fry in here in Spain and I've never even seen canola oil), but I've never got them as good as these olive oil chips. Maybe I was lucky and it was the first use of the olive oil. Refined olive oil is reasonably cheap here so I could try that. Have you any idea how often the oil can be used using your method, Andy M? I'm keen to avoid a deep fat fryer fire!
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:42 PM   #5
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I'd rather use peanut oil for frying homemade fries. Love the taste. However, I usually roast them in the oven with olive oil.

But, Snoop, if you are trying to recreate what you had at the restaurant I would go with Andy's advice.
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:49 PM   #6
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Price has to be a consideration -- olive oil ain't cheap in the U.S. I recently found some decent extra virgin olive oil from Italy at Von's, which is owned by Safeway, under Safeway's house brand Verdi, for $14 for 2 liters. I usually pay about $30 for a 3-liter can of Colavita. Seems a little expensive for making French fries, but maybe mixing it with a less expensive oil would give good results.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:30 PM   #7
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Cheaper regular olive oil has a higher smoke point than evoo. Evoo has the lowest smoke point of any olive oil.
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:33 PM   #8
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Chips in olive oil = heaven!!
You might try looking for something called " Sansa de Oliva" - basically it's the oil extracted from the final pressing process. Just when you thought nothing was left, SPLAT! out comes the sansa. Good for deep-frying.

I think I can safely say I NEVER use frozen potatoes to make chips. Fresh or die.
Plus I think the UK members amongst us ( and the Spanish, too) tend to like our "fried potatoes" a whole lot thicker than those shoelace-y things you guys all make!!!

Perhaps we're just not refined!

"Chips",for me, must be at the very least 1/2 inch thick. Otherwise, they're French! Who's ever heard of French-Fried Fish 'n' Chips!!??
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:03 PM   #9
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Andy, can you get even pure olive oil (3rd grade down) up to 400 without smoking? extra virgin is 360 or so...I've never tried. Haven't had good enough ventilation.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:20 PM   #10
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I believe OO and pure OO is good for 410 F.
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