French fries and Sriracha are a match made in heaven, am I right? The spicy sauce can always be found in my house, and recently I whipped up a batch of double fried french fries to enjoy with Vermont Maple Sriracha.
My buds at Sriracha Indy have been spreading the good word of the hypnotizing sauce. A few weeks ago they held a contest where one winner would receive a bottle of Vermont Maple Sriracha, a version I have never heard of. Aside from the standard Sriracha with the green top found in almost every grocery store across the United States, other companies and brands have found their way into the Sriracha craze with butter, mayors, dips, snacks and more.
Of course, I had to enter the contest, and when I found out I won I was beaming with joy. Vermont Maple Sriracha excited me because of the additions of maple sugar and maple syrup, two ingredients commonly found in Vermont, which I assumed would provide a sweet counterpart to the heat of the Sriracha.
Vermont Maple Sriracha was created when one Sriracha lover found himself getting sick from the preservatives in the traditional Thailand sauce. After realizing he could source the ingredients locally, he teamed up with a local sauce-making expert to try to create their own sauce while adding Pure Vermont maple syrup.
Vermont Maple Sriracha is gluten free, vegan and has zero preservatives. Their recipe label is simple: Fresno peppers, apple cider vinegar, Vermont pure maple sugar, garlic, Vermont pure maple syrup and kosher salt.
The first thing I did when it arrived (after a short squeal of happiness), was to open the bottle and pour a little on my finger to taste. My oh my, this sauce is damn good. First I actually taste the peppers, followed by the sweet maple flavor and lastly the heat. While I am certainly a lover of Sriracha, it took me a while to build up some heat tolerance. Vermont Maple Sriracha’s sauce is hot but in a complimentary way, not overpowering at all.
It’s also a little thick and not completely smooth, reminding me that it is truly a homemade sauce.
Vermont Maple Sriracha is only offering individual orders on their website at this time, and I just saw on their Facebook page that they are SOLD OUT until August 2014. Place your order today and get a fresh batch when it is ready next month! (vermontmaplesriracha.com).
As for the french fries, I spent quite a while researching the best method for achieving crisp fries at home. It is a good thing I do not have an electric deep fryer. I can only imagine how often I would make these fries.
These are the core concepts I found to be important for perfectly fried French fries:
- Soaking the potatoes in water
- The temperature of the oil
- Double frying
Sounds simple, right?
When researching how other achieve French fry perfection, I found Serious Eats, who, on their quest for replicating the almighty McDonald’s French fry, decided that the only way is to freeze the potato before frying. Since I just didn’t feel like spending more than a few hours creating French fries, I decided not to try this method.
Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Womn, double fries her potatoes, but she soaks them for at least 2 or 3 hours prior to cooking. Another not so simple option for those interested in fries as a weeknight meal.
Many people have small discrepancies in how long the potatoes should soak, how high the oil should be to fry them, but most agree that frying twice is the way to go. The idea is to fry them on a lower heat, then turn the heat up and fry quickly one more time.
Why is this? As with most cooking methods, high heat risks cooking the outside of a vegetable (or cut of meat) too quickly, resulting in an uncooked or partially cooked center. Potatoes are the same – frying once allows the inside to cook, and frying quickly a second time on higher heat seals in the fluffy potato goodness while browning and crisping the outer layer.
Fluffy, potato goodness.
As for the type of oil, peanut is suggested, but shame on me for only having canola oil on hand. I’m sure there is a taste difference, so use what you have on hand or purchase peanut oil if that’s what your little heart desires.
While this recipe requires few ingredients, you will need a few tools, such as a thermometer and a slotted spoon. I suggest a candy thermometer because it can hook onto the side of your pot, and a slotted spoon that has a long handle so you do not risk getting hit by the popping oil. Please be super careful when using hot oil!
Double Fried French Fries
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 48 ounces canola or peanut oil
- Vermont Maple Sriracha, for serving
PREP: Wash the potatoes, then slice them in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 1/2 inch “fries,” cutting them in half again so they are not super long (if you have really big potatoes). Just use your best judgment and cut them however you like. There is no wrong answer, but the larger they are, the longer they may take to fry.
Place the fries into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for at least a half hour or longer. Remove the potatoes from the water and place on a baking sheet with paper towels. Pat the potatoes to get them as dry as possible.
FRYING: When you are ready to fry, heat the oil over medium high heat.
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, pour in the oil and secure a thermometer (such as a candy thermometer) so it can read the temperature of the oil.
When the oil reaches 325 degrees you are ready to fry! Using a large slotted spoon, carefully drop a small batch into the oil. Fry for five minutes until lightly browned, gently stirring the fries occasionally so they do not stick to the bottom, then remove onto another baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat this process for the rest of the potatoes.
Once the first fry is complete, let the oil rise to 350 degrees. Begin frying the potatoes in small batches for only 2-3 minutes, watching carefully and removing when they begin to brown. They will burn if you do not pay attention! Remove them to the paper towels and sprinkle with salt. They will be hot, but enjoying them soon after frying is preferred. Serve with Vermont Maple Sriracha or your sriracha of choice