Belgian Fries with Sauce Andalouse
['1 cup mayonnaise', '2 tablespoons tomato paste', '2 tablespoons finely chopped onion', '1 tablespoon finely chopped green bell pepper', '1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper', '1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice', '1/4 teaspoon salt', '4 to 6 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying', '3 lb russet (baking) potatoes (5 or 6)', 'a deep-fat thermometer']
Stir together all sauce ingredients and chill, covered, at least 1 hour to allow flavors to develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Heat 2 inches of oil slowly in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat until thermometer registers 300°F.
While oil is heating, peel potatoes, then cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick sticks and submerge in a large bowl of ice and cold water. Rinse potatoes in several changes of cold water in bowl (more ice isn't necessary) until water is clear. Drain in a colander and spread potatoes out in 1 layer on several layers of paper towels to drain, then pat dry.
When oil is ready, increase heat to moderately high and fry potatoes in 4 batches, turning, until just cooked through but still white, about 3 minutes. (Return oil to 300°F between batches.) Transfer as fried with a slotted spoon to dry paper towels to drain. Cool potatoes to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Reheat oil over moderately high heat until thermometer registers 375°F. Fry potatoes again in 4 batches, turning, until deep golden, 3 to 4 minutes. (Return oil to 375°F between batches.) Transfer as fried with a slotted spoon to dry paper towels to drain briefly, then season with salt and serve immediately, with sauce for dipping.
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