Pommes Paille (Matchstick Potatoes)

(courtesy of Gilles Galhaut, owner-chef, Z Bistro in Carson City.)

Mandoline slicer fitted with ⅛-inch julienne blade

Deep-fry thermometer

2 large, organic russet potatoes (about 1½ pounds)

4 to 6 cups peanut oil

Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise with slicer to make ⅛-inch julienne strips. Soak potatoes in water to pull out excess starch, at least an hour. Rinse and thoroughly dry before frying. Heat 2 inches peanut oil in wide 5- to 7-quart heavy pot (at least 4 inches deep) over medium heat to 375 degrees F. Fry potatoes in small batches to ensure even heat and crispness, stirring, until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and dry on paper towels. Season with sea salt, to taste. Return oil to 375 degrees between batches. Continue until all potatoes are cooked. You may store any extra pommes pailles in a zip-lock baggie or sealed container.

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