French Fries in a Pressure Cooker
Potatoes, 1 kg ( 2 + 1/5 lb ) for frying
oil, 1 + 1/2 l ( 50 + 2/3 oz ) canola
One pressure cooker
Materials and Methods
Brazilians and Pressure Cookers
At first glance it seems that we love them. Almost every single house has one. The typical smell and sound of a Brazilian home is beans being cooked in a pressure cooker.
Truth to be told is that we have a LOVE-FEAR affair with them.
Most houses do have one, but most people are a little afraid of using one. Everybody heard of someone’s aunt tale that the pressure cooker exploded.
Well it is true for the older models that didn’t have a safety valve. Nowadays they don’t explode anymore if you make a mistake. Although they will release their contents at jet speeds as a scalding fountain if you abuse it.
There are 3 simple rules for using it:
NEVER COOK LENTILS IN A PRESSURE COOKER
NEVER FILL MORE THAN 2/3 OF WATER (Or oil in this case)
NEVER EVER COOK LENTILS IN A PRESSURE COOKER
TL;DR it works and is delicious
This is one of those things that you hear in a circle of friends and you know that it feels wrong, but you are going to try it.
This is my first try at that. There was no test before this run.
So I choose to make thick fries as I find them better and set my fear aside.
Heat the oil on high heat. To know if the temperature is right place a single slice inside and it should start frying vigorously immediately.
Take a deep breath. Move the sliced potatoes in the oil carefully.
Close the lid and wait. In a few minutes it will start releasing water vapor.
Play close attention to the water vapor release from the pan. If it stops or slows down It is probably ready.
It took me about 20 minutes from closing the lid to reopening
Opening the Pressure Cooker
Here is where you might need better hardware. New pressure cookers have a release valve that lets you equalize the pressure. If yours don’t, be careful!
DO NOT PLACE THE PAN UNDER THE WATER
Release the pressure and open the pan. Remove the fries and drain them either on paper towels or on a cake rest over paper towels.
That’s it. The best advantage is that this method keeps the kitchen clean and when it is done you are ready to make another batch
Have them with a decadent beef strogonoff (with a dollop of sour cream on top)
and remember: NEVER COOK LENTILS IN A PRESSURE COOKER
They cook very fast and the shells of the lentils clog the escape valve. 20 minutes in a regular pan is better for them
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