This recipe is part of Crispianity: a column devoted to all foods crispy and crunchy, two of the most underappreciated attributes of a great dish. Author Adeena Sussman is a food writer and recipe developer, pairing here with her friend, photographer Evan Sung. Sussman’s most recent cookbook, co-authored with Lee Brian Schrager, is Fried and True: More Than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides.

A tangle of hot, freshly fried shoestring potatoes is just about the best thing around, and they’ve got some considerable advantages over their standard-cut cousins. For starters they’re the fastest cooking spuds you’ll find, going from whole tuber to crisped-up munchie hero in minutes without any of the double — or even triple — frying that is the hallmark of many great french fries. They’re also more versatile, as worthy a garnish for soups, salads and sandwiches as a standalone snack. And while they’re delicious hot and fresh, shoestrings remain crispy when cold, meaning they’re just as good the next day, tucked into a tuna sandwich or scattered across a poor man’s niçoise salad.

To turn the potatoes into ribbons you could cart out your bulky mandolin slicer, but I’d suggest using a simple julienne peeler, which yields surprisingly sturdy strands and demands minimal cleanup. A quick soak in ice water, a dab with paper towels, a brief dance with hot oil – and you’re done. Now that’s what I call freedom fries.