There is no food in the world better than properly-cooked Belgian fries. Not lobster rolls, not charcoal oven-fired pizza, not roasted sweet corn, not carved turkey sandwiches, not even Zankou's chicken tarna wrap which, just the other day, I called my perfect meal. Nope. Belgian fries, when done properly, are as good as it gets.
Making them at home has always been tough for me. I can't explain why. Maybe I try too hard to make them perfect. I don't know. A couple times I have come close to making my ideal fry, but most of the time I make them and remember the fries I've had at Wurstkuche or Pommes Frites and I think Damn, mine aren't as good.
The other day I decided to give them another try, my first attempt in a couple years. I sliced up several small Russet potatoes with a plastic, uniform-slicing gadget that had been buried in a drawer for more than half a decade. I soaked the fries in water for a couple hours, drained them and rinsed them off.
After making sure the potatoes were dry (an important step), I cooked them, a handful at a time, in a pot of oil close to 325 degrees. I didn't time each batch, I simply pulled them out when they looked ready, but I would guess each batch cooked for about six minutes.
A hour later I cranked up the heat, closer to 400 degrees, and dropped the potatoes back in for a couple minutes.