Ask anyone and they will agree waffle fries are one of the best French fries around. These fries make quite a presentation when sitting beside a juicy hamburger or grilled cheese sandwich. Many prefer these fries over the traditional stick varieties. Although they are made with a classic potato, often the seasonings are creative on these spuds. The waffle fry gets a unique look because it utilizes a different blade to get that crisscrossed pattern. They are served in some of the biggest restaurants in the world; even the fast food industry utilizes these tempting sensations.
Are They French or Belgium?
As to where they started, well that leaves a lot more questions than answers. The French term is Pommes gaufrettes. The French wants the entitlements to the French fry. However, the Belgium stakes their claims too. Belgium does receive accolades for being the originators of waffles. While France and Belgium are fighting over the honors of who found it first, most people form their own opinion. Because they made waffles, the Belgium get credit for the waffle fries by default.
The Special Waffle Cutter
To make a waffle fry is really quite easy. The store varieties could never measure up. The Russet Baking Potato makes the best fries hands down. They are easy to cut, come in large size varieties, and they have plenty of starch. To get the waffle look cut into the potato will require a special tool. The mandolin is one of the most popular tools on the market. It allows the potatoes to be cut safely into this checkerboard pattern, and can cut other shapes too. There are hand versions that will allow an individual to do the same thing. Some will go as far as pressing thinly cut potatoes on a waffle maker to get that unique shape. The use of a slicing device is essential for the perfect fry.
Making The Unique Spuds
Before beginning the preparations of the potatoes, get some peanut oil started in a large pan and bring that up to 365 degrees. Make sure that the saucepan is no more than half full. Start with about 1-2 pounds of potatoes. Wash them thoroughly and peel if so desired. Make sure to pat any water off of them with paper towels, as the water will ignite the oil and can cause a grease fire. Place the waffle cut fries into the skillet until they start to turn colors and blister a bit. This process should take about 5-7 minutes. After removing from the oil, place on a paper towel to dry and salt to taste. Here is a really good waffle fries recipe that incorporates blend of cheese, scallions and bacon.
Play around with seasonings and make sure to make the fries unique. Some like to dip their fries in cheese sauce, while others prefer ranch. There is no wrong way to make a waffle fry, they all taste good.