Of all the foods that start out awesome but get more and more disappointing the colder they get, fries may take the cake. And while some foods can be quickly brought back to life with a couple minutes in the microwave or in a hot pan, you can pretty much write off fries for dead as soon as they hit room temperature.
Or can you? Is there really a way to bring fries back from the dead?
There are a few methods, but most of them don’t work very well. You can arrange your fries on a baking sheet and bake them until they crisp back up, but the bottom of each fry tends to get way too crunchy using this method. You can microwave them, but this tends to just steam your pommes frites from the inside. But there is one method we like, and it involves a frying pan.
Here’s what you do: Add a little butter or oil to a nonstick pan, and place all the fries in a single layer. Once the bottom has crisped up, carefully flip them over and crisp up the other side. Then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate, add a little extra salt, and have at ‘em.
Of course, these fries won’t taste exactly the same as they did when they came out of the deep-fryer, so if you really want to capture that just-fried flavor, your best bet is to submerge them in boiling oil for a couple of minutes. But if you’re going to go that far, you might as well just start from scratch.