Heat 2 to 2 1/2 quarts of oil to 375-400° in a deep-fat fryer. Wash and peel baking potatoes, and cut into paper-thin crosswise or lengthwise slices-the slicing slot of a hand grater works nicely. Swish potatoes in cold water to remove surface starch (and to prevent them from sticking together when fried); dry in paper towels. Remove basket from fryer. Place a large handful of potatoes in basket and, holding it firmly by its handle, lower it into the hot oil; be ready to lift basket immediately if oil bubbles up; lower again, and repeat as necessary until potato moisture evaporates and bubbling quiets down. Then lower into oil. Stir potatoes with a slotted spoon to keep them circulating, and fry until nicely browned and crisp. Drain, turn potatoes out onto paper towels, salt them, and transfer to a serving basket or dish. Continue with the rest. The sooner you serve them, the more delicious they will be.
Adapted from From Julia Child's Kitchen, courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf.
From the December 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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