Brianna's Matchstick (Cold Oil) French Fries inspired by Outlander

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.

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.

cold oil french fries

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  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!

cold oil french fries

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23 Feb 2012 - 7:53am


Everyone loves fries!!

23 Feb 2012 - 1:27pm


What are "GM" oils?


oops, sorry Jenn! GM stands for genetically-modified...Theresa

23 Feb 2012 - 3:10pm

Heather Dollman

I make fries all the time and I am always out of time to do them. I cheat and half cook them in the microwave or steal a baked we didn't eat slice them and put them in hot oil. I think I'll give myself some time and try your way, yum.

23 Feb 2012 - 4:05pm

Lee Ann

YUM! What do you do with the scraps of potato after you square them?


Good question, Lee Ann! You can save them (covered with water so they don`t go brown) in the fridge for about a day. Great in soups, stews...or use them up in a hash for breakfast the next day. :)

23 Feb 2012 - 9:03pm

Denise Landrum

I think imna give these a try.I even have the yukon golds available,and the non gmo oil..yay!!

24 Feb 2012 - 1:37am


These were sooo easy to make! And the sunflower oil is nice and light. Really good! I'll make them again. Thanks!

24 Feb 2012 - 3:25am

Heather Landon

So why are they called cold oil fries if you cook em in hot oil?? And why would it be hard to cook another batch once the oil is hot?


Heather, if you read the recipe, you'll see that cold oil is poured over the potatoes at the start of the cooking process. Once that batch of fries is cooked, you would have to wait for the oil to cool down before making another.nnIn the classic french fry method, the potatoes are cooked in preheated oil not once, but twice. A much more involved and messy process.

Heather Landon

What is it about starting with cold oil instead of putting the fries in hot oil that changes the process so much? I feel like I'm being awfully thick, lol!


As the oil heats up, Heather, the potatoes get blanched (cooked gently), then as the oil gets hotter, the fries brown. French fries usually get cooked 2 stages, the blanch and then the brown. This method reduces the work to just one bath in the oil...hopefully that explains it! |:)

24 Feb 2012 - 7:13pm

Jenn @LeftoverQueen


24 Feb 2012 - 11:11pm

The Mom Chef …

I really want to try them. I'm loving the idea of not using a thermometer and keeping the heat at a perfect level! I also love the fact that you use Yukon Golds. I might have thought about making my own potato chips on the occasion that I have a craving and there aren't any in the house (though I'm not admitting to anything). It would seem to me (not from experience, mind you) that Yukon fry up much more like the store packaged chips than Russets do. Nice to have that 'theory' proven. :)

27 Feb 2012 - 3:24pm


I have never started my fries 'cold' and have never used that much oil. Being Scottish - - - I will try this method for sure, but save the oil to use over and over.... hee hee. Thanks again for what I know will be another winner. nHelen in Ark. n(trying to figure out how to add my picture and not a Gravatar)

10 Mar 2012 - 4:35pm

Outlander Kit…

here to view the entire recipe. Share

02 Apr 2012 - 2:56pm


I remember reading this recipe on Island Vittles and wanting to try it, but forgetting about it. Finally made them last night with some local French Fingerlings to accompany a grilled ham & cheese. Yum! They remind me of the fries we served at a restaurant my hubby & I worked at in college. I fry quite a few foods (homemade: fried chicken, hush puppies, chicken nuggets, etc.) and am always looking for recipes to get more life out of my oil. Thanks, Theresa!


Laura. That sounds like my ideal dinner...

10 Jul 2012 - 10:35pm

Mindy Reed

Just made these for dinner and they were SO SO good!!! Loved them! Do did my husband and kids! Thanks for another good recipe!!

21 Feb 2013 - 1:30am

Anne Hayward

Do you keep the heat on high the entire time they're cooking?

10 Mar 2015 - 12:11am

Susan Dorward

My Sassenach made fries like that last night. He made wonderful fish and chips. He was adorable explaining the cold process to me!

10 Mar 2015 - 12:49am

Patty Voga

These sound wonderful but do they really take 20-25 minutes total to cook once the oil is hot??


The total time is from the time you turn the stove on, when the oil is cold.

10 Mar 2015 - 1:10am

Melani Gutierrez

I would love to make these. I have tried fires before but never could keep them from being soggy. I have a family of four. Would a deep stock pot work for a larger batch or should I use a wider pot?

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