Total Calories: 3,163
Peel potatoes, dry them, and slice using a mandoline or other slicer with a setting as close to 1/4-inch square strips as you’ve got. If your fries are a little thicker than 1/4 inch, the recipe will still work, but it won’t be an exact clone, and you definitely don’t want super thick steak fries here.
Rinse fries in a large bowl filled with around 8 cups cold water. The water should become milky. Dump water out and add another 8 cups cold water plus some ice and let fries sit for an hour. Spoon shortening into deep fryer and set it to 375°. On many fryers, this is the highest setting. Remove fries from water and spread them out to dry for 10–15 minutes. Don’t let them sit much longer than this, or they will begin to turn brown. The oil should now be hot enough for blanching stage. Split up fries and add them in batches to oil for 1 1/2 minutes at a time. Watch them carefully to be sure they don’t begin to brown. If they start to brown on edges, take them out.
Remove fries to paper towels to drain and cool. When fries have cooled, put them into a resealable bag or covered container and freeze for 4–5 hours or until potatoes are completely frozen. As fries freeze, turn off fryer, but turn it back on and give it plenty of time to heat up before the final frying stage for your fries. Split up frozen fries and add one-half at a time to hot oil. Fry for 4 1/2–6 minutes or until fries have become a golden brown color and are crispy on outside when cool. The second batch may take a tad longer than the first, since the oil may have cooled. Drain fries on paper towels and salt generously.
Fun Fact: The Midwest is headquarters for several hamburger chains. McDonald's is in Oak Brook, Illinois. Though founded in California, Ray Kroc turned it into a franchise beginning with a still-standing store in Des Plaines, Illinois. The Midwest is also home to Wendy's in Dublin, Ohio, White Castle in Columbus, Ohio, and Steak ’n Shake, which was founded in Normal, Illinois, and is now based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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