These are the best homemade fries I’ve ever made. Generally, fries fall into the “happy to order it out” category for me, but I really love rutabaga, and one day I just had a hunch they’d make a great fry. The flesh of the rutabaga is quite suited to not going too soggy post-frying, which is the usual plight of the homemade fry. I also have a trick for re-crisping them all after frying in batches!
about one rutabaga per person
oil, enough to cover an inch of a pot or pan
good Hungarian paprika
Toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Smash with a mortar and pestle, or hit with the back of a knife and chop a little.
Peel and trim the rutabaga. Lop off the bottoms first, so they have sturdy footing as you trim around the edges. Cut into 1/4 inch discs, then further into your desired fry shape.
Heat the oil in a particularly heat-conductive pan; a copper bottom Revereware pan is great for this. While this is happening, mix plenty of the caraway seeds into your preferred store-bought ketchup. My favorite these days is Suzie’s, which is miraculously organic, from Oregon (Pendleton), and tastes exactly like Heinz (ideal). When the oil is quite hot, add the pieces of rutabaga a few at a time.
Using tongs to turn the pieces and remove them, use your own judgement/preference for deepening color and crispness. Remove to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Hold in an oven set to 200º until all the fries are done. Remove the paper towel, blotting once more.
Sprinkle on paprika and salt. Place under the broiler until starting to crisp. Turn over the pieces, repeat. Or simply roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, turned up to 400º. When the fries have been re-crisped and the paprika is going dark, take them out, toss on a little more paprika and salt, then eat immediately with the caraway ketchup.