The inspiration for this recipe goes back to my childhood, when I was fascinated with "junk food" culture. Before I knew how the English word was spelled, I used to write my own Swedish transliteration, djunk, all over my school notebooks. I still like good junk food. When you pop these crispy potatoes into your mouth, you'll fall instantly in love with their flavor and texture.
Panko, Japanese bread crumbs, give fried foods a light, crisp coating; the corn flakes add more crunch and a slightly sweet undertone. A bowl of these potatoes quickly disappears at a cocktail party.
2 Idaho potatoes
About 4 cups grapeseed oil or canola oil, for deep-frying
2 cups corn flakes
1 cup panko (see Pantry, page 283 of book)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Peel the potatoes. Cut them into sticks 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches long, dropping them into a bowl of cold water as you work to prevent them from discoloring.
2. Pour 3 inches of oil into a deep-fryer or deep heavy pot and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Add the potatoes, in batches if necessary, to the hot oil and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain. Carefully set the pot of oil aside.
3. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer, and place in the freezer for about 1 hour, or until they are partially frozen.
4. Combine the corn flakes and panko in a blender or a food processor and process until fine. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne in a second shallow bowl. In a third bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Roll the semi-frozen potato sticks in the flour, dip them in the eggs, letting the excess drip off, and roll them in the corn flake mixture. Repeat the process a second time, and place the potatoes in a single layer on a large plate.
5. Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees F. Fry the potatoes, a handful at a time, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Be sure to allow the oil to reheat between batches. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
The potatoes are fried twice, the same way the best french fries are made. The first time, they are "blanched" in the hot oil until almost cooked through; then they are fried a second time at a higher temperature to finish the cooking and turn them golden brown and crisp.
Serve the potatoes on their own as cocktail food or alongside Barbecued Boneless "Ribs" (page 54 of book) or Slow-Roasted Turkey Wings (page 53).
And the New Scandinavian Cuisine
by Marcus Samuelsson
$45.00; Hardcover; 312 pages
Full color throughout; more than 100 photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created November 2003