The crispiest french fries -- and our favorite
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled (about 6)
about 1 cup cornstarch for light coating
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1. Peel russet potatoes and cut them into 1/8-inch slices. Then cut the slices into long strips, 1/8- inch wide. These are the matchsticks. Soak them in water overnight (you may soak them as little as half an hour, or you may omit this step if you don't have time).
2. When ready to cook, dust them lightly with cornstarch, then fry them at 390°F until golden brown. (Be especially diligent in separating them when they hit the hot oil.) Remove, drain on paper towels, and salt liberally.
Note: After being cooked, these potatoes will stay crisp much longer than the twice-cooked potatoes; you can hold them for half an hour or more without any loss of crispness. They'll even be fairly crisp the next day.
If crispness is important to you, then you might want to make matchstick French fries (or allumettes). They are our favorite French fries. They are also the crispiest French fries...and they have the additional virtue of needing only one frying. Serves 4