Monday, March 26, 2007

Steak Frites!

We all know that the French make the best food. Some people may think that they like Italian food or Mexican food, these cuisines are great as well, but I guarantee that the French can cook any country’s cuisine better than the chefs of that particular country. I was inspired to make Steak Frites tonight. This is one of my favorite meals because I get to eat steak and French fries, while not feeling like white trash for eating French fries for dinner because they are frites, not fries. See? I’m not going to talk about my steak too much, there isn’t much to it considering I don’t like it cooked very much. I prefer ribeyes, while Kristen prefers the New York steak. When it isn’t barbequing weather, I fry it in olive oil until I feel that it is just approaching microbiological safety. This is very French as well, since a rare steak in France is room temperature and purple 2mm below the surface. I only require that it be hot enough to properly melt all of that wonderful marbled fat.
The fries are a little more labor intensive. I like them thin to maximize the caramelized crispness that I aim to achieve. I cut the taters to approximately 1cm squared crossectional area and soak them in ice water for 30 minutes to remove extraneous starch (Is there such a thing in potatoes? Curious… makes a better fry anyhow). Then I blanch them in Peanut oil at 270 degrees for about 8 minutes until they start to get translucent. Remove the blanched fries and allow them to cool before frying at 375 degrees for a few minutes until they are crisp and browned. The first step actually cooks the fries while the second step caramelizes the outside and delivers the crispness that French potatoes deserve. My deep fryer conked out a while ago so tonight I thought I would just use a pot of oil on the stove. This experience served to remind me why I bought a deep fryer in the first place…..I enjoy having eyebrows. If I had some marshmallows then I would be blogging about roasting them over the bonfire in my kitchen. I wish I could have snapped a picture of the inferno in my kitchen, but I was too busy packing up my valuables. Anyway, this method results in a perfectly cooked French fry with a delightful crispness. If you like the Flaccid “Freedom Fries” commonly found in Dumbf@$kistan then just plop some chopped taters in hot Pennzoil.
If I have a high quality steak I don’t like much on it other than salt, pepper and maybe a little Worcestershire (I like pure Worcestershire directly in my mouth as well, and am looking for some Worcestershire based drinks if anyone knows of any) (come to think of it, I think I will learn how to make my own Worcestershire and blog about it. I’ll make it all fancy with white anchovies and then wrap it in a brown bag like a 40 of Old English). However, tonight I prepared my steak with some blue cheese butter, or maybe I should say beurre de fromage bleu. This is easy to make and great because it adds some nice flavor, but it doesn’t mask the flavor of the steak. Just mix unsalted butter, blue cheese, shallots, garlic, flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper. You all know what you like so I am not going to give any specific amounts. If you really like blue cheese, then you will probably want to add a lot of it, etc.
Et Voila! Half of your plate is covered with steak and the other with two kinds of fries. The top layer is nice and crisp while the bottom layer is soaked in steak juices. Fry flaccidity is acceptable only if it is due to absorption of steak juices. I would pair French fries with a nice Rhone wine, while Freedom Fries are best paired with a 60oz Mountain Dew or Bud Light purchased at a NASCAR event. Considering the political climate these days, I think I’ll be paying homage to French cuisine for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love America, I just want all our troops to be able to enjoy French food like Kristen and I do. I’m signing off before I get too fired up about politics.


Kristen said...

I don't think the French can make In-n-out burgers better than In-n-out're wrong on that one.

The Shameless Foodies said...

Esther Snyder was the founder of In-n-Out and I believe she was French. Snyder is typically a German name but I think she is from the Alsace region of France which has a bit of a German influence as it borders Germany - I hope this clears everything up Kristen.