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Published 05.04.2016 | Author : admin | Category : How Can I Make Money

I'm gonna come right out and say something that I'm sure you won't all openly agree with: McDonald's french fries are great. I've been literally giddy with the quality of the fries that have been coming out of my kitchen for the last two days.
In order to achieve this crispness, the surface structure of a fry must be riddled with micro-bubbles.
Perfect Fry Factor #2: The interior must be intact, fluffy, and have a strong potato flavor. Fries with a pasty, mealy, or gummy interior or even worse, the dreaded state known as "hollow-fry" (when the interior is missing entirely) are an automatic fail in my fry book.
Fries that are too dark or are spotty have an offputting burnt flavor that distracts from the potato. Perfect Fry Factor #4: The fry must stay crisp and tasty for at least as long as it takes to eat a full serving. Anyone with a buck can get a batch of fully cooked McDonald's fries, but I was after something more.
I figured I'd be just be able to walk into the store and order them straight from the cashier. She remains unimpressed, and needless to say, I go home fry-less, contemplating whether attempting to leverage an unborn, un-conceived son in exchange for a couple dozen frozen potato sticks is grounds for eternal damnation.
In a last ditch effort, I appeal to my Facebook fans for some assistance, promising cold hard cash and full credit in this story to anyone who could get me a stash of frozen McDonald's fries.
Kenji, you put forth an excellent challenge; I enjoy both challenges and your food writing immensely, so I came up with an excellent plan that worked the first try. The plan involved me printing out a fake list of items needed for a Scavenger Hunt sponsored by "The Simplot Foundation." A "Mr.
I said I needed FROZEN fries, which really perplexed her, but my young McD's associate friend explained the concept of a scavenger hunt and soon enough I was invited into the kitchen and she grabbed a handful of fries and placed them in the zip lock bag I brought with me.
The handoff was made the next day, and I finally had a batch of frozen McDonald's fries on which to operate. McDonald's used to fry their potatoes in beef tallow, giving them extra flavor and making them extra crisp, but they stopped doing that years ago. For the next phase, I started doing some research and caught a lucky break by finding this article online, which essentially runs through the whole process of what goes on in a McDonald's potato processing plant as told by LeAron Plackett, a thirteen-year-long employee.
To answer that question, it's important to understand exactly what happens when a french fry is cooked. Now, like most enzymes, PME is only active within a certain temperature range, acting faster and faster as the temperature gets higher until, like a switch, it shuts off completely once it reaches a certain level. My objective just became much clearer: in order to get my fries ultra crisp, I'd need to find a way to strengthen their pectin before allowing their starch granules to burst. The most obvious way to do this is just to copy McDonald's exactly: cook the potatoes in a precisely maintained 170°F water bath for 15 minutes. To solve the first problem, my initial though was to start the potatoes in cold water, and slowly bring it up to a simmer. That's when I thought—perhaps there is another way to strengthen pectin without having to rely on some fickle enzyme (I've never liked enzymes anyway), and it struck me: apple pie. What if rather than trying to fiddle with temperature, I just relied on the use of acid to help the potatoes keep their structure?
I tried bringing two pots of cut potatoes to a boil side by side, the first with plain water, and the second with water spiked with vinegar at a ratio of one tablespoon per quart. This is a picture of one of the fries which I bent a full ten minutes after it had come out of the oil.
I tried freezing half a batch of fries before frying them and tasted them side-by-side against the other half.


I know it's bad form to toot your own horn, but I'm simply amazed that these fries have been coming out of my own kitchen. For instance—she gets mad when I say things like that about her on completely public forums. I am in the market for a quiet long time and has used many buy-sell signals software, but they were never up to the mark. At their best, they are everything a french fry should be: salty, crisp, light, and not greasy. Sure, my thick-cut pub-style fries are super-potatoey and fantastic, and when I'm in the mood for them, my seasoned steak fries can't be beat, but for thin, super-crisp fries (I'm talking the kind that only appear in fast food restaurants and French bistros under the name frites)? It's these tiny crisp bubbles that increase the surface area of the fry, making it extra crunchy. The true test of a great fry is whether or not it remains crisp and edible a few minutes later after its been sitting on your plate. The traditional double fry method (once at low temp, then again at high temp) works, but it's far from foolproof, and fails to meet all of the requirements I've set for a perfect fry. I wanted to get fries from the store in their fully frozen state so that I could examine their surface for clues on how they were parcooked, as well as attempt to fry them myself at home to discover if there is any secret in the fry oil in the shops.
I bring out the really big guns: "Listen, the thing is, my wife is pregnant—like really pregnant—and she sent me on a quest for McDonald's french fries. Simplot" had endowed an annual prize for the winning team of the scavenger hunt, which would be used to fund the "research projects of the members of the winning team each year." (Members also had to belong to the Harold McGee Society and Order of Brillat-Savarin).
They seemed smooth, but on closer inspection, I noticed that they were dotted with tiny tiny bubbles, indicating that they had definitely been fried at least once prior to arriving at the store. Rather than a slow low temperature fry for the first round, the fries get dunked into very hot oil for only 50 seconds (the second fry is then carried out at the actual location).
First, it rinses off excess simple sugars, helping the fries attain a light gold color, instead of a deep dark brown. My hope was that by doing this, they'd spend enough time under the 170°F cutoff point to improve their structure adequately.
I thought back to those McDonald's fries and realized a vital step that I had neglected to test: freezing. The frozen fries had a distinctly fluffier interior, while the unfrozen ones were still ever-so-slightly gummy. I've been eating fries in various shades of good or bad constantly for the past few days, and I'm absolutely sick of them, yet I am still eating them even as I sit here and type. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, and author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, where he unravels the science of home cooking.
Granted, you get the occasional odd franchise that lets'em sit under the heat lamp for a couple hours too long, but on the whole, I find it remarkable that the bigwigs have discovered a way to create a frozen fry that even a one armed eyeless chimp has trouble screwing up.
I'm always better off running down to the take-out window than bothering to fry them myself at home. Even my puppy is wondering why his owner keeps exclaiming "Holy s**t that's good!" every half hour from the kitchen. But she only likes them really fresh, like straight out of the fryer fresh, so I figured I'd just get some frozen, and fry them for her at home.
Her English was not ideal, so I spoke Spanish, and a young associate took kindly upon me and explained what I needed. To test this, I fried up a batch of the frozen fries in 375°F peanut oil, letting them cook for about 3 minutes before draining, seasoning, and tasting. These cells also contain starch granules—tiny sacs that resemble water balloons, as well as simple sugars. On the other hand, those boiled in the vinegared water remained perfectly intact, even after boiling for a full ten minutes.


In order to stay fluffy and not gummy, a lot of the interior moisture needs to be expelled in the cooking process, so my goal should be to make this evaporation as easy as possible. A restaurant-trained chef and former Editor at Cook's Illustrated magazine, he is the author of the New York Times best-selling cookbook The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, available now wherever books are sold. I've cooked over 43 batches of fries in the last three days, and I'm happy to report that I've finally found a way to consistently reach crisp, golden Nirvana.
After the fries leave the blancher, they are dried and then it's off to the "fryer," which is filled with one hundred percent vegetable oil. When these starch granules are exposed to water and heat, they begin to swell, eventually bursting, and releasing a shower of swollen starch molecules. According to an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, PME induces calcium and magnesium to act as a sort of buttress for pectin. The potatoes were certainly better than ones dunked straight into the fryer, but they didn't come close to the originals. When fried, they had fabulously crisp crusts with tiny, bubbly, blistered surfaces that stayed crisp even when they were completely cool. I figure that so far, by cooking it all the way to boiling point, I'm doing pretty much the right thing—the more cooked the potatoes are, the more the cell structure breaks down, and the easier it is for water to be expelled. I always figured this step was for purely economic reasons, but perhaps there was more to it? Freezing the potatoes causes their moisture to convert to ice, forming sharp, jagged crystals.
Now the problem is, in order to get the ideal crust, all three of these elements must be in the proper balance, and the proper state. They strengthen the pectin's hold on the potato cell's walls, which helps the potatoes stay firmer and more intact when cooked to a higher temperature. Of course, now two new questions entered my head: What about for those poor souls who don't have a temperature-controlled water bath?
Next I tried adding a measured amount of boiling water to a pot containing the cut potatoes. Thus super tart apples like Granny Smith will stay fully intact, while sweeter apples like a Macoun will almost completely dissolve. As for the flavor, if I tasted really hard, I could pick up a faint vinegary undertone, though I wouldn't have if I didn't know it was there.
These crystals damage the cell structure of the potato, making it easier for them to be released once they are heated and convert to steam. I suppose I could do what the McDonald's Corporation did and spend millions of dollars researching exactly how to accomplish fry perfection time after time anywhere around the world, but unfortunately Serious Eats doesn't pay me well enough to do that.
That's why the surface of a McDonald's fry looks the way it does: rather than blistering into large bubbles like a traditional double-fried french fry does, the reinforced walls form the super-tiny bubbles that give them their extra crunch. I mean, they taste fantastic now, but we all know that McDonald's fries get soggy pretty darn fast. It worked a little better, but the water temperature dropped off too quickly for it to be effective. After all, I'm used to putting my fries in ketchup or mayo, both of which contain plenty of acid.
Because freezing actually improves them, I can do the initial blanching and frying steps in large batches, freeze them, and have a constant supply of ready-to-fry potatoes right in my freezer just like Ronald himself!



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