4 to 6 medium baking potatoes, peeled or unpeeled
Peanut oil (for frying)
Salt and/or Cajun seasoning
Slice potatoes into fat matchsticks, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Put them into a bowl of cold water. Place the bowl in the refrigerator. Soak the potatoes in the water for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, to eliminate much of the starch.
Pour off water, add more cold water to cover, and toss in 6 ice cubes. Place the bowl in the refrigerator. Soak potatoes in the ice water about 30 minutes to firm them up again. Drain them well on a dish towel or paper towels, drying off each matchstick. Then roll up the potatoes in another dry towel. You don't want any moisture on the potatoes.
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 3 to 4 inches of oil to 340 degrees F. Add the potatoes in batches, and partially fry them about 4 minutes. They should just begin to color. Drain the potatoes. This step can be done 30 to 40 minutes before eating.
Just before serving, reheat oil to 360 degrees F and fry potatoes again for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Drain potatoes again. Shake them in a brown paper sack into which you have sprinkled salt and/or Cajun seasoning. Serve hot.
Rio Grande-Style French Fries
Ladle warm chile con queso over the potatoes before serving them. If you want extra spice, top everything with jalape