If you have a dietary restriction and can’t have complex carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, corn etc), then odds are, you haven’t had a good french fry in a while. Well, today is your lucky day. Here is an amazing SCD French Fries recipe from your favorite chef Travis Bettinson.
Unfortunately for the SCD community, there are few options that our commercial food system designs with them in mind…and even less that are easy, quick, grab & go options (except of course Caleb’s Cooking Company frozen meals). So if you want to try out a relatively easy recipe to replace an American staple, I’ve got one for you.
Fries of course. Crispy, golden-brown, salty, light, dippable, fries. The cornerstone of any junk-food binge!!
These fries, of course, don’t use potato as the base. Instead, we use the wonderfully underrated and under appreciated yellow split-pea. They are based on a traditional Italian side dish utilizing chickpeas that I first had while working at the Langham Hotel in Boston, Panisse.
There are 4 steps to make these fries – each very easy to do. The good news is you can make a huge batch and freeze the leftovers, easily reheating them in the oven right from the freezer. Hope you enjoy!
Grab-and-go SCD French Fries Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 16” plate piled high with fries
Yellow Split Peas 1 cup/ 240ml
Water 1 pint/ 500ml
Salt 1.5 tsp/8g
Safflower Oil for Frying 1 quart/ 1000ml
Note – You should have a thermometer that has a range capturing 300℉-425 ℉
Method of Preparation for SCD French Fries
- Here’s an easy step 1 for you. Soak the dried split peas in water until they nearly triple in size. 12-24 hours.
- Strain out the soaking liquid and place the split peas in the blender with the pint of water and salt. Puree until smooth.
- Pour into a pot and place it over medium-low heat.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes with a whisk.
Chef’s note: Stirring is important here. You are essentially making split pea polenta so if you forget about the polenta for 10 minutes it will stick to the bottom and begin burning.
Once the temperature of the puree reaches a high enough temp, the pea starches will gelatinize and it will quickly begin to thicken. That is totally normal and will happen far before you should finish stirring the mix. I’ve always a had a thin layer of the polenta stuck to the bottom of the pot after this step, but with 20 minutes of soaking in water, it comes right off with a light scrub.
Another Chef’s note: If the puree has thickened up before the 15 minute mark you should still continue to cook and stir it (maybe with a metal spatula if your whisk has a hard time handling the new density of the thickened mass). This makes sure you’ve cooked out the raw pea starch which is very bitter and hard to digest. It also has the added benefit of making a lighter fry since more heavy water will get cooked out of it.
- Dump/Scoop (more dumping than scooping) your pea polenta onto a sheet pan. Working quickly, spread out the thick mass to about a ½” evenly (parchment paper or plastic wrap and a rolling pin work wonder with this). Then let it cool for 20 minutes.
- Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and place over medium heat. Your goal is to reach 400℉ before adding the fries.
Chef’s Note: When you add the fries, the temp will drop a good 50℉-75℉ to 325℉-350℉, which is a good frying temp for the panisse fries.
- While the oil is heating, turn the cooled polenta out onto your cutting board and cut fries of whatever size you want out of the dough.
When the oil has reached the correct temp of 400℉, add ⅓ of the batch of fries. My fries, which were cut into ¾” widths took 5-7 minutes to reach the golden color and crispy texture I was looking for. Remove the fries with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper-towel-lined sheet pan to drain excess oil. Once the oil reaches 400℉ again add the next batch of fries.
Chef’s Note: You should be able to reuse this oil another 3-4 times before it degrades and begins to oxidize. I let the oil cool, place it in tupperware and label it for the next use.
I’m a salt fiend, so I give the fries another sprinkling of salt before finding whatever dip suits my mood that evening. Even though I only used 1 cup, I’d recommend doubling or tripling the recipe and freezing a bunch of the finished fries to be reheated on demand.
Enjoy!! And if you are looking for more SCD friendly recipes, check out our delicious honey & lemon curd recipe.