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Shoestring French Fries with Peach Ketchup

August 30, 2023

Tangy, sweet and spicy—this ketchup can double as a barbecue sauce. It is just as fabulous slathered on a piece of grilled chicken or pork chops, as it is with salty fries.

In contrast to last week’s raging heat and humidity, the past two days have felt almost like fall. Or at least like the dwindling days of August not July. It has been great. I’ve taken the baby for a walk, moved her jumperoo by the screened door so she could bounce around to the breeze, and made French fries for lunch. How do French fries fit into all of this? With the door and windows open anyway, frying sounded like a good idea. Plus, I had peach ketchup in the freezer that I made when Mr. L brought all those peaches home. And I am totally procrastinating packing, cleaning, and all around getting it together for our back-to-back beach vacation and move. I am totally checked out. French fries for lunch it is!

The ketchup is tangy, sweet and spicy. It actually can double as a barbecue sauce and is fabulous slathered on a piece of grilled chicken or pork chops. Either way, it’s my new favorite thing and is dangerously addictive. If you don’t want to mess with frying, it’s great with plain ole bagged potato chips. (Again, addicted.) The ketchup freezes like a champ, too, so you can make a batch and freeze in an ice cube tray to enjoy a single serving at a time long after summer has ended. Happy condiment making!

Peach Ketchup

The ingredient list may seem like a lot but look through it—many of these things may already be in your pantry. Plus, the instructions are short!

5 peaches, pitted and roughly chopped (3 cups chopped peaches)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic (1 small clove)
1/4 tsp. chile flakes and black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a 4-quart sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low or medium-low to keep it at a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour or until it has thickened. (The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will be.) Cool and pour into a jar or freezer container. It can be refrigerated up to a week or frozen up to 6 months.

Shoestring French Fries

This recipe is adapted from Saveur and is very straight forward—just potatoes fried in oil. I only used half of one large russet potato since it was for me. (I will use the other half to make fries for Mr. L tonight). This recipe makes two generous side servings or enough for four to snack on. You can, of course, double the recipe if you feel like frying your pants off.

1 large russet potato (peeled, if you so desire—I skipped that step)
Canola oil for frying
Salt, to taste

Slice a thin slice off the bottom of the potato so that it is flat on one side and doesn’t roll while slicing. Slice into thin planks then slice the planks into matchsticks. Place in a large bowl of water until right before frying. In a large saucepan or pot pour in 2 inches of oil. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F – 380°F (If you don’t have a thermometer, add a small piece of potato to the oil to test it. When it bubbles furiously the oil is hot enough.) As the oil heats, drain the potatoes and place them on a kitchen towel. Blot with the towel until they are very dry. Fry in 4 or 5 batches for 2 to 3 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Remove with metal tongs or a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or newspaper. Sprinkle with salt and serve with the Peach Ketchup.