Makes 6 servings
Heat oven to lowest setting and place a baking sheet lined with a double layer of paper towels inside. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add diced potatoes and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until tender, but not falling apart. Immediately drain in a colander and rinse with cool running water to stop the cooking. Shake the colander gently to remove excess water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Place a large skillet over high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, carefully add the potato cubes and fry without disturbing for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden. Toss and continue frying on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more, until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the baking sheet and season lightly with salt and pepper and, if desired, chopped fresh herbs. Serve immediately, or keep warm for up to 5 minutes before adding to Shrimp Clemenceau.