As much as Americans love french fries, you would think they were invented there. Not so. While the name suggests they are of French origin, that’s not true either. These delectable tubers are actually of Belgian descent. When American soldiers went to Belgium during the World War I, they saw potatoes being cooked in oil. The name “french” comes from the word for cutting vegetables or meat lengthwise into strips. All you need to make homemade French fries are potatoes and vegetable oil to make this favorite side. While you already know how and when to eat french fries, you might love them even more when you make homemade French fries from scratch and serve them piping hot. These instructions apply to making sweet potato fries as well.
Peel and rinse the potatoes. Then cut them into sticks by cutting the potato in 4 or 5 vertical pieces, and then cutting each piece into sticks. Place them in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak, 2 to 3 hours. (You can also stick them in the fridge and let them soak overnight.)
When you’re ready to make the fries, drain off the water and lay the potatoes on 2 baking sheets lined with paper towels. Blot with paper towels to dry them. Heat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot to 300 degrees F. In 3 or 4 batches, cook the potatoes until soft, 4 to 5 minutes per batch. They should not be brown at this point! You just want to start the cooking process. Remove each batch and drain on new/dry paper towels.
Once all the potatoes have been fried at 300 degrees F, turn up the heat until the oil reaches 400 degrees F. When the oil’s hot, start frying the potatoes in batches again, cooking until the fries are golden and crisp. Remove the potatoes from the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle homemade French fries with sea salt and dive in!