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Old 03-01-2006, 10:00 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tips! I'm off to get a deep fryer. I'm going to master this yet.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:56 PM   #12
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Thank you so much for your help. I now have a good deep fryer. The results are improving, but most of them are what I call tadpoles (one half puffs but the rest stays flat. Swimming in the oil, they remind me of the polliwogs we used to catch when we were kids).

One thing that surprises me is the different results with exactly the same sized slice. I have a good quality mandoline that yields uniform slices. But some slices bubble, others do not, while some puff up fully (the minority).
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:22 PM   #13
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I remember seeing the episode on PBS (and I checked the cookbook) where Jacques Pepin made these. He indicated there were ALWAYS clunkers and that the first frying was your only chance to get it right.

The first frying was to form a pliable skin on the potato slices. You cannot let them brown as they will get too hard when they dry and won't puff up. If you then drop them into the hotter oil, you can tell right away if they are going to puff. Take those out right away and set them aside. they will deflate but re-puff when cooked for real. The clunkers make good potato chips.

The key is to make a lot extra and just serve the winners. The kitchen doesn't tell the dinner guest how many failures they had to get to the good ones, why should you?
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Old 03-03-2006, 09:26 PM   #14
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My ratio of successes to failures is low. I would be happy to get to a 75 percent success rate but I have a way to go.

I get better results when I push the slices under, as opposed to letting them rise to the top and stay there.

My wife tells me that given the time I have devoted to Pommes Frites, that this is my Mt. Everest. But this is one New Orleans delight that I must make for our guests.
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