Diners are treated to these puffed, golden soufflé potatoes as they enjoy their drinks, consider the menu, and wait for their orders at Arnaud’s. The potatoes are fried once to seal the outside, then fried again at a higher temperature, causing the steam inside to puff them like balloons. The magical puffing depends partly on skill, partly on the temperature of the oil used for frying, and partly on the intrinsic moisture of the potatoes themselves. In other words, if all the potato slices don’t puff, it might not be you!
- Idaho potatoes - 8 large
- Frying Oil - 8 quarts, divided between two deep fryers or saucepans
- Salt to taste
Choose uniform-sized potatoes. Peel them and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Heat the oil in the first pan to 350 F. Plunge the slices into the hot oil (do not crowd the pan; fry in batches if necessary, letting the oil return to temperature between batches). The slices will sink. Shake the pan gently to keep the hot oil moving over the potatoes. When the potatoes rise to the top, skim them from the oil and drain on paper towels. The process will take about 1-1/2 minutes. Let drain for 5 minutes, or until they cool to room temperature.
Heat the oil in the second pan to 425 F. Plunge the potatoes into the second pan, a few at a time. Within seconds they will puff up and turn golden brown. Skim them from the oil and drain on towels or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve at once.