Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shoestring Herb Fries (and Steak)

Don't those look good? They were!

I've been seeing quite a few recipes on the web for "herb fries" so I decided to wing it. If you have a mandolin, nothing could be simpler. You want "thin" fries, for this recipe. I tried really really thin spaghetti-like fries, but I found them to thin for a wholesome "chew" or bite. I wanted an outside crunch and still just a bit soft interior.

For the herbs, I used rosemary, thyme and lemon. Yes, lemon. Don't omit it. For a final flair, I zested some Parmesan on top. These were a snap to prepare. Save your oil and do it again the next day.

But what made these even better, was pan-searing a porterhouse steak to go with it. All that was missing was a cold beer.

  • 1 russet potato, about 3/4 - 1 pound, thoroughly scrubbed and thinly sliced into fries
  • 1 heaping teaspoon mixed, finely minced herbs of thyme and rosemary
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and thick sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Peanut oil for frying

Place a good 1-2 inches of peanut oil in a medium pan and turn on medium heat. Add the garlic. When garlic turns brown, remove and discard.

Thoroughly mince the herbs with the zest and chop, chop, chop. Add the salt and with a pestle or the back of your knife, and begin working the salt into the herb/citrus mixture. Don't make it too wet, you still want to "sprinkle" it over the fries.

Cut your potatoes.

Add fries to hot oil slowly, you don't want the oil to bubble over and cause a fire. You may need to do this in two batches. Stir occasionally until brown and crisp. Remove to drain on paper towels.

I added a few "onion' pieces to the potatoes as they fried.

Place in a warm 200 F. degree oven to keep warm and crisp while you prepare the rest. When ready to serve, sprinkle with the herb/citrus salt. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve. You could also sprinkle with a bit of pepper or chile powder.

How to Pan-Sear a Steak

First, you need a cast-iron skillet. I can't imagine not cooking a steak without one.

On one side of your steak, season with a bit of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. That's it.

Get you skillet HOT! Place a pat of butter in the pan and then lay the steak seasoned side down right on top of the butter. Lower heat a bit and don't move the steak. After about 3-5 minutes, take a peek. It should have a nice crust, even some blackened spots. Sprinkle lightly with a bit of salt. Flip. Lower heat a tad more and cook until it reaches desired doneness. I like mine RARE.

Remove to a plate to rest for a few minutes. Slice thinly on a diagonal. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and serve.