“ Type: Frozen Food „
Although I like to make my own meals from scratch and eat as healthy as possible there are some occasions when the need for quick easy comfort food is required. Therefore I always try and keep some easy to cook items in my freezer and one of these is French fries as they are so versatile and can be eaten on their own or go with a variety of other items to make a meal. The last purchase of French fries that I made was from Iceland and was the McCain crispy French fries which were on offer at just £1.00 for a 750g bag.
The French fries come packaged in a red plastic wrapper which has a sunrise scene picture in the background with a large McCain logo on the front with a picture of a pile of the French fries. It states that the French fries are prepared with sunflower oil and are made with 100% British potatoes. On the back of the wrapper you can find more detailed information about the French fries including ingredients listings, nutritional information, storage instructions and cooking guidelines. It also states that the fries are suitable for vegetarians and contain no artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fats.
These fries are purchased frozen so need to be kept in the freezer until you are ready to use them. They are really easy to cook by simply spreading onto a baking tray and baking in the oven for around 15 minutes or popping under the grill. I always opt to cook these fries in the oven as I find it the easiest option and it has always produced good results. The only effort you really need to put in is turning the fries a couple of times during cooking to ensure they end up evenly cooked.
I have found that these fries cook very easily and end up with a lovely even golden colour. As with all fries they are thinly cut but these have a lovely crisp outside and still have a nice soft, fluffy centre. These French fries do have a coating on them which gives them a nice crunchy coating which I think works perfectly and is much better than any other plain fries that I have purchased to cook at home. The additional of Turmeric and Paprika extract in the coating also give a slight flavour to the fries too which I find very nice and means they can be enjoyable without having to add salt to them.
These fries can be served alone or with a variety of different items so they make a great staple to keep in the freezer for a naughty snack or to form the basis of a quick simple meal. I got 4 good sized portions out of the 750g bag which worked out at only 25 pence per serving which I thought was great value especially if you compare how much you would pay for a portion of fries from a fast food outlet.
Overall these are certainly the best home cook French fries that I have found and I will certainly continue to purchase them and would recommend any French fry fan to try them.
I have to admit I was a bit dubious when purchasing these. I have purchased a few frozen chips in the past and end up disappointed to find most the chips/wedges contained bruising and need chucking out leaving you with less of the product. Also they dont taste that good. McCain Crispy French Fries were different and at £1.50 I kind of hoped it would be.
McCain Crisp French Fries comes in red plastic packaging, with a picture of potatoes, sunflower and French fries. The product weight is 1kg. The actual product is potatoes cut into thin sticks and coated resembling French fries. Looking through the bag I was impressed to find no bruising or bad potatoes.
Ingredients included are: Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Batter (Wheat Flour, Modified Starch (Maize, Tapioca), Rice Flour, Salt, Corn Starch, Natural Colours (Turmeric Extract, Paprika Extract)). This product is suitable for vegetarians and if you have allergies then beware that this product contains Wheat & Wheat Flour.
According to the Food Standards Agency's traffic light system this product is low in sugar and medium in fat, saturated fat and salt. It is 179kCal per 100g of the product and provides 749kJ of energy.
These French fries can either be cooked under the grill or in the oven. I cooked mine in the oven, it states that if cooking in the oven, then to put it on gas mark 9 and cook for 14-16 minutes. I went against this and cooked it at gas mark 7 to cook alongside my fish cakes. They cooked for 20-25 minutes and in between I flipped them over so they cooked evenly. They turned out well, lovely and crisp.
Taste wise I was even more impressed I thought these would taste somewhat artificial and really salty but this was not case, it had totally beaten McDonalds in looks and taste. It tasted better, crisp but not over cooked, fresher in terms of tasting potato and not at all salty. It was a pleasure to eat.
Overall I recommend this product over any frozen chip products, it's worth the £1.50 and I think I will purchase this from time to time but not all the time.
As a treat in our house we have chips for tea, most of the meals my boys have are potatoes and for a change I bought these fries as they usually have steak cut chips. I have to say I was quite impressed with the price and that is why I went for this brand.
The frozen chips come in a red packet which has the McCain logo at the top and the name of the product in blue lettering across the middle. At the bottom of the front of the packet is a brief guideline to the nutritional information. The back of the packet is again red and has all the product information you need.
~~COOKING AND RESULTS~~
The frozen chips can be cooked in two ways and both require cooking them from frozen. They can be cooked in the oven by placing them on a baking sheet and cooking on gas mark 9 or 240 deg. Celsius or 475 deg. Fahrenheit for approximately 14-16 minutes. They can also be grilled with you placing a single layer of the chips over the grill pan and cooking for 8-10 minutes with the chips being turned half way through cooking.
I personally bang these straight in the oven as that is the simplest and it means I don't have to keep checking on them. I have found that they take more like 20 minutes to cook properly but this is still a good times as other brands can take up to 30 minutes.
When opening the packet I was pleased to find that the chips were not all stuck together as this meant I was able to get the desire amount out very simply and not have top pull them all apart. After cooking they were a cook golden colour and crispy on the outside. The chips tasted good and did actually have a good amount of mashed potato inside of them which other brands have been lacking on. They thin chips but some of them were incredibly long but this made for some fun at the table for my boys. The chips were crispy to eat but with some salt and vinegar they do soften. All of my boys enjoyed them and thought they were just like McDonalds and had great fun trying to find out who had the longest one! Hubby even commented on how nice they were for a change.
The chips come in a pack size of 1kg and I found this was enough for 2 adults and 3 boys for two meals which I found to be a great value.
The packet has the tractor logo on the front and on the back it explains that this is to show that the chips have been made from 100% British grown potatoes and for me this is good as it is supporting out own farmers.
The ingredients of the chips for those wishing to know are:-
Potatoes, Sunflower oil, Batter (wheat Flour, Modified Starch, (Maize, Tapioca), Rice Flour, Salt, Corn Starch, Natural Colours (Turmeric Extract, Paprika Extract)).
There is an allergy warning that these chips do contain wheat but they are suitable for vegetarians.
A 100g over cooked serving of these chips offers:-
Energy - 270 Kcal
Protein - 4.3g
Carbohydrate - 38.8g
Of which sugars - 0.5g
Fat - 10.9g
Of which saturates - 1.4g
Fibre - 2.9g
Sodium - 0.41g
Equivalent as Salt - 1.0g
Chips are not healthy but I do find that these values are pretty good considering they are chips and I think this is helped that they are prepared with 100% sunflower oil.
The chips have a good life on them and the packet which I bought had just over 12 months.
~~PRICE AND AVAILABILITY~~
I bought my chips from Tesco and paid around £1.79 which I though was a fair price considering they are McCain's. There are cheaper alternatives but they just don't measure up to the standard of these ones. They are available in all good supermarkets.
Everyone in my house recommends these chips as they do taste great, they are easy to cook and you can have fun working out who has the longest on at tea time. These are a much nicer and cheaper alternative to McDonalds, just need the burger to go with them now!
McCain Crispy French Fries cost £1.66 in Tesco for a 1kg bag. They're often on offer for £1 a bag so keep your eyes peeled if you're hoping to try them on a budget. Country Store Golden Fries (a Tesco 'budget brand') cost only 79p for a 1kg bag, so of course these considerably more expensive McCain's ones won't be for everyone.
These are frozen chips, so as you'd expect you have to put these on an oven tray, and pop them in the oven for around 15 minutes. I find that these really do need turning half way through the cooking process, as they can quickly become uneven in texture if you don't.
Once cooked, these don't retain much heat for very long (not sure why, perhaps because they're so thin) so it's best to eat these straight away. These are mostly really long, skinny fries that look like the kind you get in fast food restaurants. What I like about these is that they've got a slightly crisper version of McDonalds fries here really. Most of them are slightly crunchy on the outside, while being soft and fluffy on the inside - just like I like from my fries.
These have a slight edge to them taste-wise, and on checking the ingredients I see that's because they've added a few things to these to spice them up a bit: Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Batter (Wheat Flour, Modified Starch (Maize, Tapioca), Rice Flour, Salt, Corn Starch, Natural Colours (Turmeric Extract, Paprika Extract)). It's good to know that for a change, you are actually getting something extra for buying the premium brand and in this case it's added flavourings.
I think the over all quality of these is very good too, and I didn't find many poor quality or badly cut fries in our packets. The taste is slightly different to usual, and I really love the texture of these too. Sadly they're not very healthy though, with a120g serving of oven cooked fries containing 3.1g of fat and 1.2g of salt.
McCain Crispy French Fries
McCain crispy french fries are the tasty alternative to deep fried chips. They are thin, long, cut from fresh potato and coated and as the name suggests very crispy when cooked.
McCain fries contain no arteficial colours or flavours and no hydrogenated fats. They are quick and easy to prepare and are so much better for you than regular fries.
Potatoes, sunflower oil, batter, flour, modified starch, rice flour, salt, corn starch, natural colours.
Directions for cooking:
These fries can be either grilled or baked. Either way, they should be place on a baking tray and either put in the oven at 240 degrees for 14-16 minutes, or placed under a medium grill for 8-10 minutes.. turning.
So, what do I really think of these fries?
Well, even though I do love a good old fashioned deep fried chip, I do feel better about eating these and definately feel better about giving them to the kids. They are not as fatty as normal chips and even though they may not have the same taste I know they are better.
They are much easier to cook also compared to other oven chips and because they are thin they cook quicker without going soggy.
My children find that the thin fries are more appealing and to be honest they do have a great taste from them
I would recommend these fries to ayone looking for an alternative to regular deep fried chips.
Long, crispy fries, cut from fresh whole potatoes.