In some countries they call them potato chips and in others, French fries, fries or finger chips. In Greece, we call them “Patátes Tiganités” (pr. pah-TAH-tess Tee-ghah-nee-TESS) .
Patates Tiganites are Greek fried potatoes, in olive oil, with oregano sprinkled on top.
You may think that frying potatoes is very easy, as it is a simple recipe, but it took me quite a long time to accomplish a nice crispy taste outside, yet soft inside. What makes these potatoes different from any other fries is that they are fried in olive oil.
You need to put enough olive oil in order to cover them while frying and not to add too many potatoes as they will rather boil than fry.
Potatoes oxidize easily, so if we prepare them ahead, we need to keep them covered in cold water. Then drain them well before adding some salt. After they are fried we can sprinkle more salt on top and oregano. This makes them delicious!
We know that oil is ready if we place our hand above frying pan and feel the heat. Until we know this by experience try this: after 2 – 3 minutes put the first piece of potato in the hot oil and if floats and starts sizzling, your oil is ready and put potatoes gradually, just enough to have them covered by the oil. Do not start mixing them immediately but let them sit in the oil for a few minutes and using a fork start turning them over until they become golden on all sides.
As fried potatoes are served as a side dish, they are the perfect accompanament to many diishes such as stewed dishes, grilled meat, fried fish or seafood, etc. A good serving is one medium potato per person. They can be made either in sticks or round slices.
Patates Tiganites (French fries the Greek way)
- Potatoes (about 1 medium potato per person)
- Olive oil for frying
- Oregano (optional)
- Peel and wash the potatoes.
- Cut them into slices about 1 cm, thick and then into sticks.
- Put them in a bowl with cold water until you are ready to fry them, so that they do not oxidize.
- Just before frying, drain the potatoes and sprinkle with salt.
- Heat the olive oil (which should be enough to cover the potatoes) in a heavy skillet or a wok.
- Just before smoking point, add the potatoes.
- Don’t stir before 5 minutes have passed and then stir occasionally until the desired colour.
- Serve hot sprinkling some oregano and extra salt on top.
- If you use a deep fryer the same as above applies but follow the instructions of your fryer as to how long to fry.
- Never fry the potatoes more than once in the same oil. It is best to always use fresh olive oil but as olive oil is expensive, when it cools store it in a clean jar with a lid. You may use the leftover oil to fry fish, or schnitzel or meatballs or use it in an oven roast and then discard any leftover.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!