Even if you vow to never make zoodles, vegetti, or zusketti, I urge you to buy a spiralizer.
That's because, while it's well suited for making healthy, gluten-free, low-carb, low-calorie, raw, paleo "pasta," it's also handy for making not-healthy, not-gluten-free, not-low carb, not-low calories, not-raw, not-paleo curly fries.
Before the spiralizer, curly fries were hard to DIY, their spiral shape beguiling to the home cook, unattainable with a knife or other tool. With a spiralizer, one potato turns into many-foot-long curls, which could be cut into traditional fry-lengths—or not.
With the shape covered (thanks a million, spiralizer!), the only part that requires tinkering with is the spice mixture. While I've never been to Arby's, sources say they have the best curly fries. The internet came through with their seasoning—and the rest was history fried.
After spiralizing, the potatoes get soaked in water to start their cooking and help them crisp up during the deep-fry. They get a dunking of spice pre-fry and a sprinkling post. More salt at the end is good, too.
If you're wondering how I looked at the office's spiralizer—marketed as a tool for healthy food, for making noodles out of vegetables—and thought "curly fries," know that my mind isn't as freewheeling as that'd require.
For kicks, I asked my boyfriend what he would do with a mechanism that makes spirals out of food (a wig of ringlets? streamers? confetti? cocktail garnishes?).
There was, and is, only one answer.
5 Russet potatoes
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
4 tablespoons paprika
Canola oil, for frying
Photos by James Ransom