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4 large baking potatoes
oil–a quart or two
Peel the potatoes and cut them into fries–about 4″ by 1/2″ by 1/2″. Do this just when you’re ready to cook so the fries don’t brown.
Line a large bowl with paper towels. Heat the oil in a medium pot over high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add a small fry. When this fry sizzles, that means it’s time to start cooking. Turn the heat down slightly, and cook the fries in batches, depending on the size of your pot. You don’t want to overcrowd and you don’t want the oil to bubble over.
Fry each batch for about 8 minutes, until starting to crisp but still quite pale. Remove with a slotted spoon, letting as much oil as possible drip off before transferring to the towel-lined bowl. Repeat with the remaining uncooked fries.
When you’re ready to eat, repeat this process, only now the fries should cook much more quickly, and since they’ll have shrunk, you’ll be able to cook in fewer batches. Sprinkle generously with salt and serve with warmed tomato sauce (see above).