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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Fry Truck Fare & How to Make Home Made French Fries

A sure sign that summer has arrived are the fry trucks. They pop-up in small communities, tourist areas and parks near the water. Some of them are only open on the weekends. It a summer pleasant activity to take a drive to a fry truck then sit and watch the water sights. They tend to be quite popular not only for the food but the socializing. After Labour Day as the days begin cooling and tourism slows the fry truck begin to close for the winter leaving only pleasant memories of lazy summer days. My husband stopped at one of the many fry trucks on the way home last night.

The Meal

What makes the fry trucks so popular? My theory is the smell lures you in but it's really the fries. It's all about the fries! We sometimes stop en route to get a box of fries to share while driving.

The food is not exactly super healthy but it is good, unpretentious food. The prices are quite reasonable. The total cost for our meal was $17*. It's likely healthier than a lot of fast food restaurant foods. It's not always fast either. There's nothing special about the burgers other than they are all beef patties. Toppings include ketchup, mustard, relish and American sliced cheese. Most fry trucks serve hot dogs and some also serve sausages. Salt, white and malt vinegars are available for the fries. Onion rings are available but the fries are the main attraction. Some offer bags of potato chips but many do not. A limited variety of pop and bottled water is available usually for $1 each.

Most of the fry trucks still use the pressed cardboard trays for fries and onion rings or they use thin cardboard boxes similar to fast food restaurants except bigger. If you are eating on site the burger, hot dog or sausage come in a napkin but sometimes they serve them in the thin cardboard containers without lids. If taking the food off site some package the burgers in styrofoam take-out containers as this one did or simply wrap them in paper similar to fast food restaurants. Why am I mentioning packaging? Packaging is always a concern for me and I try very hard to avoid over packaging. What can't be recycled I try to find ways to re-use. In some communities styrofoam containers can go in the blue box but here they can't so I have to find other uses or not use it. Not using is easier. Rather than toss, I washed the containers, cut them into two and they are now serving as drip trays for four plants.

* Price breakdown: total cost was for 2 double pattie burgers - $7, onion rings - $3.00, 2 large fries $8.

Fresh Cut Fries

Ok, so what makes these fries so special? Well, just take one look at these mouthwatering fries. They aren't the pale, thin, anemic looking fries that the fast food restaurants sell. They come unsalted so the customer has a choice of whether or not they want to use the salt shaker. Most importantly these fries are fresh cut! They haven't been frozen. They are fried to a lovely golden brown, essentially the same way I would make French fries at home using fresh potatoes.

Make sure you are using clean oil. The trick when frying fresh cut potatoes is to not put them into cold oil as that will cause them to absorb the oil. To test the proper temperature of the oil, drop a fry into the oil. It should not sink and bubble should remain at the surface. If it sinks the oil is not hot enough.

Method: Wash, peel and hand cut potatoes**. Soak in cold water 10 minutes with a little citric acid to prevent darkening. Heat your oil to 350ºF. Pat the potatoes dry. Fry 3 minutes. Remove basket from fryer but leave the potatoes in the fryer. Raise the oil temperature to 365ºF. Place the basket back in the fryer and fry another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.

** Russet potatoes are the best for French fries.


Garden Gnome

7 food lovers commented:

tahtimbo said...

Thanks for the recipe. I was always wondering how to make fries at home and these look absolutely wonderful. Great, now I'm hungry:)

Garden Gnome said...

Oh you are quite welcomed. I hope you enjoy making them at home. They are so much better than from the fast food restaurants!


Tracee said...

Wow does that look delicious!

Atom Sounds said...

The fries look yummy and thanks for the recipe, it's always nice to know how things are done ;)

Anonymous said...

These look so good, ready to eat, uhm, uhm

Lady Skye Fyre said...

Fabulous. What a great blog! I'm hungry all over again. LOL

Original GRITS said...

I make homecut fries anytime we have burgers or chicken from the grill. They really ARE so much better than fast food synthetic fries! LOL