Brianna’s Matchstick (Cold Oil) French Fries
“I would love to find some dye plant that gives a true purple,” she said wistfully. “I miss the bright colors. Remember the dress I wore to the man-on-the-moon party? The black one, with the bands of Day-Glo pink and lime green?”
“That was pretty memorable, aye.” Privately, he thought the muted colors of homespun suited her much better; in skirts of rust and brown, jackets of gray and green, she looked like some exotic, lovely lichen.
Seized by the sudden desire to see her, he reached out, fumbling on the table by the bed. The little box was where she’d thrown it when they came back. She’d designed it to be used in the dark, after all; a turn of the lid dispensed one of the small, waxy sticks, and the tiny strip of roughened metal glued to the side was cool to his hand. A skritch! that made his heart leap with its simple familiarity, and the tiny flame appeared with a whiff of sulfur — magic.
“Don’t waste them,” she said, but smiled in spite of the protest, delighted at the sight as she’d been when she first showed him what she’d done.
Her hair was loose and clean, just washed; shimmering over the pale round of her shoulder, clouds of it lying soft over his chest, cinnamon and amber and roan and gold, sparked by the flame.
Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 21)
They belong together, even if their relationship is a little inflamed from time to time.
Roger had a tough haul through Drums and The Fiery Cross, I think we’ll all agree. But it’s a good thing he made it, ’cause there wasn’t a man born in the 18th Century capable of handling Bree, except maybe her Da — but, as we’ve seen, even Jamie’s ability to cope with modern women is brought into question from time to time.
Whether you think of her as a great disturbance or a striking 6 foot tall spitfire, her fierce spirit and unwomanly intelligence (not to mention her breeches), would have caused a great deal of trouble with anyone else. Let’s look at the list of “suitors” shall we? Young Ian, Lord John, Obadiah Henderson…
Ew. That last one says it all.
Most of you who have made french fries at home are probably of the opinion that it’s just easier to get them from a take out window. The classic technique requires 2 dips in hot oil — a first to blanch the potatoes, and then a second, higher temp, bath to get that perfect golden crunch.
This cold oil method is one I adapted a couple of years back from a recipe I found on CooksIllustrated.com. It consists of a single fry starting with cold oil, making it faster and way easier in terms of cleanup. And the results are perfectly crisp and delicious!
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
Brianna’s Matchstick (Cold Oil) French Fries from OutlanderKitchen.com
If these were for Roger, I’d call them chips. But since these crisp golden sticks are all about Bree, they’ve got to be fries.
Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed – 1 large/person
Vegetable Oil – to cover
Salt – to taste
Square off the sides of the potatoes, then cut lengthwise into 3/8” x 3/8” sticks. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and pour in enough oil to completely cover the potatoes.
Cook over high heat, undisturbed, until the oil comes to a rolling boil. Continue to cook, untouched for another 10 minutes. Stir with tongs, gently scraping the bottom of the pan to release any that stick.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oil using tongs or slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels, toss with salt and serve.
- Yukon Golds (and their high moisture content) are essential for the best results. Russets will work in a pinch, but they’ll be much darker.
- Choose a pan that is large enough to hold the fries and oil with lots of room to spare – You don’t want a spill over once the oil starts to boil. I use 2 large potatoes and stack them in a tall narrow pot, which uses approx 2½ cups of oil to cover.
- I prefer safflower, sunflower or peanut oils because I prefer to avoid Genetically Modified (GM) oils such as canola, corn and soybean. But that’s just me.
- Once the oil has cooled, strain and cover it. Keep it in the fridge until next time — you can use each batch of oil 4 or 5 times before it becomes too dark and smeechy.
- I may be stating the obvious here, but you need to make enough fries for everyone in the first batch. Once the oil is hot, it’s difficult to make Cold Oil Fries.