Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 to 8
Note: For additional flavor, substitute duck fat, lard or bacon fat for the frying oil. Duck fat is available at select gourmet and cooking stores, as well as online.
2 pounds fingerling or very small new potatoes
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt, plus more for seasoning
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
Place the potatoes, water and salt in a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are just tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to three days in advance; refrigerate the potatoes until needed, then continue with the recipe.)
Using a fork, gently smash the potatoes. The thicker the smashed potatoes, the fluffier the fries; conversely, the flatter the potatoes, the more crisp the fries. Set the smashed potatoes aside while you heat the oil.
Fill a heavy-bottom deep saute pan with oil so the oil comes up the sides of the pan by one-half inch. Heat the oil to a temperature of 350 degrees; the oil will shimmer in the pan.
Fry the potatoes in the oil until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes, careful not to crowd the potatoes (fry a single layer of potatoes at a time; this will need to be done in batches). Drain the potatoes on a rack until all of the potatoes are fried.
Season the smashed fries with additional salt to taste, and serve immediately.
Each of 8 servings: 209 calories; 2 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 14 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 184 mg sodium.
CREAMY RANCH DIPPING SAUCE
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: Makes about 1 quart, plus 2 to 3 hours refrigeration time
1 (8-ounce) container cream cheese, softened
1 (16-ounce container) sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated or chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise until very smooth. Whisk in the garlic, onion, parsley, chives, dill, tarragon, lemon zest, vinegar, salt and chipotle pepper. Season to taste with black pepper, and adjust the salt and vinegar if desired. Cover and chill until needed; the dip tastes best if the flavors are allowed to develop 2 to 3 hours before serving. The dip will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days.
Each tablespoon: 51 calories; 0 protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 73 mg sodium.