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Old 09-20-2015, 11:41 AM   #1
Senior Cook
Chef Kenny's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Central, VA
Posts: 122
Squash Fries

I did a search here and didn't have any prevalent results so I thought I would drop some knowledge from personal experience.

This is NOT Diet food but it's another way I have found for me to actually "like" certain squash.

I did this with acorn squash, but I suppose it would work with any firm squash. No pics...sorry.

Very simple

Acorn squash
Corn starch
Oil for deep frying (I only deep fry in peanut oil)

1-Cut the squash in half and cleanly scrape off and scoop out seeds and ALL pulp.
2-Peel the exterior skin. The skin is edible on a home or organic garden grown acorn squash like the one I had, but I chose to peel. If you cut the squash in to wedges right in the little valleys between the humps, it makes it easier to peel down in those areas. I used a standard peeler that has the blade sticking straight out of the handle, not the "Y" type.
3-Cut the squash flesh in to french fry size pieces. I cut them not quite shoestring but not "steak fry" size either, and of course the sizes will vary because of the shape of the squash.
4-Soak the cut squash fry pieces in buttermilk. I probably let them soak an hour or so, but don't really know how time affects this. I don't know how much buttermilk...maybe 1/2-3/4 cup? I just dump till it looks right and add more if needed.
*Tip=We keep the less expensive gallon size plastic bags that come with twist ties. I prefer to soak, marinate and breading coat in these bags whenever practical because they are far less expensive than zip-locks and makes clean up a breeze. Dump wet contents out in the sink or leave the remaining dry ingredients in there and just toss in the trash. (My trash service does single stream sorting and recycling, so I don't have to worry about separating...or the trash police like they have in Seattle now).

Using the bags allows me to have less waste of ingredients because bagging is more effective at covering more food surface with less product. You just have to be careful to manually squish around and separate the foods so all surfaces are coated.

I squeeze out most of the air with wet ingredients and use twist ties if putting in the fridge overnight like with some meat marinades...and a catch plate or pan below if you are taking your eye off it for any real length of time in case the bag leaks.

5-Drain the soaked squash fries somewhat. I use a plastic colander for this with the larger openings because all my stainless sieves are too tight of openings and buttermilk is so thick it doesn't even hardly drain.

6-Get a fresh cheap gallon bag and dump in some cornstarch. Eyeball it. I may have used 1/3-1/2 cup. Season HEAVILY with salt and pepper. Trust me on this one if you want flavor, but if you like it bland, have at it. Notice, no measurements? I cook by feel and instinct with stuff like this.

Close the bag near the top leaving lots of air and shake the cornstarch and seasonings (you could add more variety of seasonings too).

7-Drop the fries in to the cornstarch bag and again, with the bag twisted closed near the top leaving plenty of air...shake well. Let rest for...I don't know...10 minutes, 1/2 hour? Whatever time it takes to heat your oil up and get ready to eat. Before removing for frying, inspect and make sure all surfaces are covered because corn starch is sticky. Break any stuck together fries apart and shake again if needed.

Rinse and wipe dry the colander you used for draining the buttermilk off. Dump the coated fries in to the colander and shake over an open trash can or the sink to remove excess corn starch.

8-Deep fry. I have two deep fryers, an old Fry Daddy for overflow for large fry jobs and a T-Fal basket fryer with auto drain and filter. I chose the basket fryer.

Drop the fries in the basket before lowering in oil, then plunge the basket in to the oil, and like with any deep fry operation, shake and jostle the basket to keep anything from sticking together, or carefully stir and move around. After a minute or two it becomes less likely anything will stick together.

Deep fry at about 365° for four minutes. They will not get really brown so don't wait for that. Little dark spots will form though. These do not get super brown, if they do, you fried them too long.

Drain on a paper towel lined plate or in a metal colander over newspaper (yes, we still get the old school newspaper. DW likes to read it and I like the paper for utilitarian use...like starting fires and lining my fry cooking station for ease of cleanup.) No need to salt, you did that already...right?

Have the rest of your meal ready by this point (if any) and eat these as soon as you can stand the heat.

I did this twice and they came out perfect and very crunchy. Much more crunchy than most potato fries. The insides are perfectly soft and tender. We had them with ketchup and they were just as good as potato fries, but crunchier. And I am NOT a big fan of squash. I really loved them. You obviously could use any dip you want or even a gravy...or nothing at all.

As you read, this is a "dump cooking" "method", not really a recipe. My apologies to the "I need measurements folks", I simply don't always measure everything. Some stuff requires it and you may have more consistent results if you record your measurements and adjust accordingly, but I like to live on the edge!

I know I said this was simple, and believe me it was. The hardest part was prepping/cutting the squash.

Also, deep frying is not as easy for everyone. I keep a deep fryer, usually with oil ready to go in my garage at all times. I have a whole cooking counter out there with a stainless top and a 6 burner Viking cook top as well (older used unit gifted to me by an appliance buddy, ported for LP so it uses the same fuel as my grill) . It allows me to keep the really smelly and fried stuff out of the house while cooking it. If you have a real range hood (my is a recirculator, not good) you could just as well do this in a dutch oven right on your regular range. No basket though in most cases.

So...these are really good, even to an anti squash guy like me, and really easy actually (the self draining/filtering fryer is a BIG deal for ease of deep frying)

This is the unit I have:


It's on my wish list for another one. I have an older version that had more problems but they have improved this product it seems. I had one literally burn a hole in the side of the element housing...very scary, but they replaced it no questions asked (photos of it made sure of that, they knew I could go "public"). Also the safety thermal breaker started popping too easily, but I took it apart and took that out of the circuit...but I know what I'm doing and this is plugged in to a breakered power strip and obviously on a breakered AC circuit. Two breakers should be enough!

I also have fire extinguishers in key spots around the house. One is right outside the garage door where I walk out to check on the cooking progress, so if there is fire, I am ready in seconds. I strongly recommend fire extinguishers for any home and easily deployable fire ladders for upstairs windows. I'm getting paranoid in my old age...and cook...a lot!

At any rate, if you have a place to keep it ready, this thing will change your deep frying world.



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