Shoe String Potatoes
These potatoes are also called "Matchstick Potatoes". They're real crispy, and a great garnish for the top of a Rib Eye Steak.
Because they're so thin, you can't double fry them like I would my regular Belgian Fries. So the down side is that they've got to be cooked, then served pretty soon after you've made them, although you can hold them in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes of so.
I made these the other night only because I've been getting a lot of hits on my Rosti Potatoes recipe that I grew up knowing as Shoe String Potatoes, so I just made them by themselves. Due to their being so thin and crunchy, they were a little bit difficult to eat with a fork. But when I added ketchup to them, it mixed with the blacken, and tasted as if I had added BBQ sauce to the top. It made me think that these would go great on top of a bowl of my Butt Burnin' Chili, or use as a Hamburger Topping.
At some point during my research to making these, I Googled Shoe String Potatoes to see where my version ends up. Like I mentioned before, I get a lot of hits from that search. I found a picture of someone who used a smaller insert on their mandolin, it might have been 1/16" instead of my smallest insert that's 1//8". I think that it would be an even better garnish because they would end up looking more like a "nest" of potatoes when you pile them on a good grilled steak, like my Father's Day Rib Eye.
1. Slice the potato lengthwise into 1/8" strips using a mandolin. Be careful when using a mandolin, and make sure you use the holder. If you don't have a mandoline, you can do it with a knife, but the end result will be more uniform by using the mandolin.
2. Place the sliced potatoes into a bowl, and cover them with water. Drain and rinse the potatoes until the water is clear, Removing the starch on the outside of the potatoes, will provide a more even color to the finished product.
3. When the oil is getting close to 350 degrees, drain and dry the potato slices real well. If there's too much water still on them, it'll make the oil splatter and foam up more.
4. I use my Black frying pan to fry in, it helps to re-season the pan, and I don't tend to make too much, so it's easy to work with. I put only about 1/2" of oil in the pan, because it'll expand when I've added whatever I'll be frying when it's added.
Add the potatoes when the oil reaches 350 degrees, I do about 1/2 of the potatoes at a time, to allow them room to move around.
5. When you first place the potatoes into the oil, you'll see how much it expands, and you'll be happy that you only had 1/2" of oil.
In the beginning, you'll see a lot of steam coming from the pan, this is the moisture inside the potatoes boiling away. within 2 -3 minutes of frying, the steam will be gone, and they'll begin browning.
6. Fry until well browned, then drain on a rack in a pan. I don't ever drain fried food on paper towels, because whatever I've fried will become soggy. You can place these in a pre-heated, 200 degree oven to hold while you either cook more, or get the rest of your meal finished.
Make sure to add salt and blacken to the potatoes as soon as you take them out of the oil. The small amount of oil that's still on the potatoes will help it stick.
Total Cooking time is 7 - 10 minutes depending upon the temperature of the oil, and the amount of potatoes you fry at one time.
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