Perfect fries starts with the perfect potatoes– the kind that remains soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. A flawless frying technique plays a big roll as well. Belgians swear in pre-baking fries for 7 minutes or until they sing and finishing them off just before serving with an additional 2-3 minutes. Also, they should not be overly salty, but delicately seasoned with soft salt to bring out the flavor and served with just a tiny dollop of good mayo to transform it into something amazingly delicious. According to the celebrity chef Sergio Herman — Samphire saurced salt is the best to be used for seasoning.
The whole misconception of the name came from American soldiers in WWII, who, when tasting the delicacy, started calling it French fries. Honest mistake!
Thanks to them this Belgian icon became one of the favorite side dishes world wide.
Yet, les Belges consider them a main course, especially when accompanied with a wide range of profine toppings. My two favorites: Vlemish beef stew and fresh raw egg.
This second quirky technique is linked to some of the little towns in the Flemish part of Belgium. I can not explain good enough in words the alchemy that happens once a lightly whipped raw egg hits those sizzling fries. It bakes for a bit forming the silkiest coating around. For a dish that perfect all you need is a small teaspoon of good organic mayo and a good pintch of samphire salt.
If frying puts you off, over time my family developed an oven baked version that looks and tastes exactly the same.
Oven baked fries
1 kg potatoes (check with your supply for the kind that is best for the fries and oven baking)
1 tbsp good butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Samphire sourced salt (good pinch) or fleur de sel
Few springs of fresh thyme
1 fresh free range egg
Some good organic mayo
Caviar for the garnish
1. Peel and cut the potatoes.
2. Wash them under the stream of hot water for 5 minutes and let stand it a bowl filled with piping hot water until it cooles down. This will pre-boil them slightly.
3. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
4. Drain and arrange the potatoes in the non-stick baking tray after coating them well with butter and oil mixture and some fresh thyme.
5. Season to taste with salt and bake for 35-40 minutes -until nice golden and crispy.
6. Lightly whip an egg and pour it over the servings immediately after taking fries out of the oven.
7. Top with one tsp of good mayo and toss it few times.
8. You can garnish it with some caviar, since it all goes so well together.