Served on the boardwalks of Atlantic beaches, these simple fries are a taste of summer. The starting point is a basic french fry that is crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle. This is the fry perfected in street stands for over two centuries in Belgium and France. Master this fry and you’ll have no problem finding friends.–Zac Williams
LC Beach Fries Note
Peanut oil and Old Bay. It’s no coincidence that these are not just the defining components of proper beach fries, but the iconic aromas of any Atlantic boardwalk.
- Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer
- Six (12-to 15-ounce) fresh Idaho Russet Burbank potatoes
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- Peanut oil
- Old Bay seasoning
- Apple cider vinegar (optional)
- Peel the potatoes. Using a knife with a sharp blade or a fry cutter, cut them into lengths a little less than 1/2 inch square. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl filled with cold water. Add the vinegar and swirl the potatoes around. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Swirl the potatoes again and drain the water. Spread the potatoes on a layer of paper towels and pat dry with additional paper towels.
- In a large heavy pot or deep-fryer, preheat the peanut oil to 315°F (157°C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
- Working in small batches of approximately 2 cups each, add the sliced potatoes to the hot oil. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until just tender but not brown. Using a basket or slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the oil, shaking to remove any excess oil. Spread the potatoes on paper towels to drain. At this point the potato slices should be refrigerated at least 1 hour, uncovered, or as long as overnight. (You can also freeze the blanched slices at this stage for up to 1 month in a well-sealed freezer bag.)
- When you are ready to serve the fries, reheat the oil to 375°F (190°C) and fry for about 4 minutes, until crispy and golden. (If using frozen potatoes, allow them to thaw at room temperature. Pat dry before frying.) Remove the fries from the fryer to remove excess oil. Spread on paper towels. Allow the fries to stand for 1 minute before sprinkling them with Old Bay. Serve them hot, preferably in a paper cup, dousing them liberally with vinegar, if desired.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These were amazing. I used a small amount of vinegar but that’s because I enjoy the taste of vinegar with fries. I know there are a great deal of people who do not. The Old Bay added such a nice flavor rather than just salt and pepper. A perfect snack or a perfect addition to a steak off the grill.
You know something is really, really good when it doesn’t even make it to a plate. As I was seasoning the last batch of fries out of the fryer with Old Bay and vinegar my husband walked in. What happened next went something like this: “Hi Sweetie, I just finished making these fries. Want to give them a try and let me know what you think?” We proceeded to taste one, followed by nods of approval to one another. We tasted a few more, and the nods began to quicken. Before we knew it, we had shared three potatoes worth of Beach Fries. I can best describe these as a potato chip on the outside and a fluffy baked potato on the inside. I LOVE finding a recipe that becomes my standard way of preparing a dish. This is the only way to make french-fried potatoes—with or without the Old Bay.
Originally published July 18, 2011