Posts Tagged french fries

Steak Frites Sandwich

I made these back in Texas. These are not po-boys (though I am discovering that the roast beef po-boy is a thing of beauty, truly). There is nothing N’awlins about these sandwiches.

Which is a shame, because they are so very good.

Also, I put french fries directly into my sandwiches. ‘Cause folks, I am classy. You know how I know it’s classy? When I was fourteen, I went to France. There was a lovely little sandwich shop in Nice where the incredibly snooty gentleman running this hole-in-the-wall made just such a sandwich, with roast beef and mustard and greens and fries all wrapped up in the bun. And clearly if it is done in France, even in a little backstreet dive, it is classy.

It is possible that I need to get out more.

This is one of my favorite sandwiches. It is in all ways superior to the hamburger, containing chopped beef instead of a ground beef patty, a good (though in this instance store-bought) roll instead of a too-soft hamburger bun, an abundance of spinach, and of course, the fries are inside the sandwich.

A fact which gives me no end of glee. Just go with it, okay?

Ingredients (makes 2 big sandwiches)

For the steak:

1/2 to 3/4 lb inexpensive steak

3-4 T red wine vinegar

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T mustard

salt, paprika, and white pepper to taste

For the sandwiches:

1/2 to 3/4 lb cooked and chopped steak

2 crusty sandwich rolls (or one baguette)

a big handful of spinach

1 large potato and cooking oil for french fries

mustard, to taste (my preference is for about 2 T/sandwich

hot sauce to taste

Directions

Make the steak. For me, the only way to do this is with my delightful mini-smoker. Seriously, that thing was hands down the best $30 I ever spent for the kitchen, and now it’s only $22. Combine all the marinade items in a zip-top bag and add the steak. Marinate at least an hour.

Smoke for 25 minutes or cook it another way if you aren’t into perfect smoked meat straight off the stove. While it’s smoking (or pan-searing or braising or however you cook your steak), heat a few inches of vegetable oil, slice a potato into 1/2 inch sticks, and fry.

Set the fries aside. When the steak is done, give it a couple of minutes to rest away from heat.

Now is a good time to grill up your bread. Not a required step, but oh so good. Just heat a bit of olive oil or margarine and maybe a smashed clove of garlic in a small skillet and grill.

 

Now chop your beef.

 

Spread mustard on the top half of your roll, and dot some hot sauce on the bottom. If that doesn’t look like much hot sauce, please bear in mind that it is Blair’s After Death sauce, which is pretty darn hot, and also I am a complete wimp when it comes to Scovilles.

Add spinach, meat, and some fries.

Devour. Crunch spinach, gnaw meat, make sad little whimpering noises because Blair’s hot sauce is really quite hot and there are about ten whole drops of it on this one little sandwich.

You can stop laughing anytime. I already admitted that I’m a capsaicin wuss.

I won’t call this my favorite sandwich. There’s a grilled cheese with that honor which I think will never be unseated. But it definitely makes the top three. It is delightful, contains only a smidgen of guilt, and is simple enough to make on a weeknight when you’d rather eat with your hands in front of the television than at the table like people.

 

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Devil Fries, Or the Meal for No Holidays

I won’t go so far as to say that I hate Valentine’s Day, but if I see one more red food coloring-infused heart-shaped concoction on the Internet I swear I will turn off my computer forever. Okay, until Tuesday. That said, how about a fun little savory snack to offset the sugar high brought on by looking at all those red velvet cupcakes? Maybe an unholy cross between a potato chip and a french fry, so fun to look at you almost don’t want to eat them? I did say almost; once we actually started, we realized that four measly devil fries each could never sate us. Even with grilled cheese.

Oh, you’ve never heard of a devil fry? The idea comes from the tornado fry as featured on food network, except I’m not using whole baking potatoes, nor do I have the Coolest Device Ever Except For a Taffy Pulling Machine*. I decided to call them devil fries because of the Tasmanian devil, which really does look like it’s spinning when it’s angry. Yes, like the Looney Tunes character. Also, devils’ lives are sad and hard, so I thought we could have solidarity through food or some such.

Ingredients

Fingerling potatoes

Bamboo skewers

Oil for frying

Seasoning of your choice (salt, chile powder, pepper, garlic powder, whatever.)

Please ignore that yam.

First, we need some fingerling potatoes. I am a complete sucker for purple potatoes, and can only get them in a bag with red and yellow ones, so that’s what I have. You’re not going to trust this advice, but I’m giving it anyway: do not use the longest, skinniest potatoes. You want the little fat stunted ones, because they take up more room once they’re cut and you want to be able to fully submerge them in oil when you fry them.

Run a skewer through each potato lengthwise, pushing about 1/2 an inch out the other side. Then the hard part. You want a really sharp knife for this, and the first one or two will come out all mangled up because you won’t have got the hang of it yet. No worries, they’re still tasty when they’re ugly. All you need to do is hold the knife in one hand and spin the potato with the other so that you get a nice long spiral cut all the way from top to bottom. Oh, I cut off the very tops and bottoms of the potatoes, just ’cause, but you don’t have to.

Just cut all the way down to the skewer. These ceramic knives are great, because they’re so sharp. They make cutting almost too easy. I almost cut off my fingertip last year, but that was with a bread knife, so not really relevant except as an excuse to say “sharp things are sharp so be careful!” Here’s another view of cutting the spirals.

You may notice that the skewer isn’t even close to centrally placed in this potato, which isn’t a problem at all except asthetically. It cooked up nice. When you’re done cutting, pull the spirals gently apart so they look a bit springy. This is why you want to use the squat little potatoes, not the long ones. My long one took up the whole skewer and couldn’t be fried. Lesson learned. Set aside your potato spirals.

Start heating your oil in a medium sized pot, leaving a few inches of empty space for sizzling and popping to occur. You want the oil about 350°F to 375°F. Still no thermometer for me, so I basically decide it’s hot enough when a pinch of flour sizzles on contact with the oil.  Submerge about six potatoes at a time in the oil, frying 4-6 minutes until golden and crispedy.

FRY FRY FRY!

You don’t even need a slotted spoon to remove them, just pull ’em out and lay them on a bed of paper towels or parchment paper, and season while still hot.

We had ours with grilled cheese. Take your favorite bread, some cheese, and butter. Melt butter in a sandwich-sized frying pan and slice some cheese for the sandwich.

There’s our good friend the Irish whiskey cheddar on whole wheat. Fry on one side over medium heat while you butter the other side.

I always, always forget to bring butter to room temperature before doing this. It doen’t matter, really. Flip after a couple of minutes to cook the other side, then serve with devil fries.

I had ketchup and salt. Mr. B. had last week’s homemade mustard and Hatch chile powder.  It was quick, easy comfort food that looks fun enough for a party but is still definitely too laid back for a holiday. I think I need to make a whole bunch and serve them all up in jam jars, because they look like happy little salted balloons. Take that, Valentine’s Day!

*I really want a taffy pulling machine. I don’t care that there is nowhere to put it in this tiny apartment.

 

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