I love mayo on hot, crisp French fries. Even better is mayo with a bit of zip. I had some leftover steak from a dinner out, so I decided I needed to have steak frites at home. So for dinner I had cold, beautifully cooked steak with hot fries and tangy mango, and some red wine on the side. A feast!
This is one of my favourite versions of horseradish mayo. My take on it is bursting with flavour, but the beauty of customizing your own mayo is that you can easily adjust it to your personal taste. If you find this too strong, dilute it by adding more mayo. I use 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 1 tablespoon grainy mustard, and 2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice to 1 cup mayo. (I actually prefer Miracle Whip, but YMMV).
A little goes a long way. I used it for fries, but it would be great on a fried egg sandwich or a burger, as well.
When I was a kid, I loved a sandwich spread my mom used to make: grated radishes and cheddar cheese, with a bit of mayo to hold it together. I ate it as a sandwich filling, on toast and on crackers.
Now that I avoid bread products, I had been trying to come up with new ways to eat it. I think it would be lovely on a bed of lightly dressed greens. And it might be quite good blended with grated cabbage.
But, as I am always working on my quest to find new french fry toppings, it occurred to me that this spread might be fantastic on fries. The scientist in me demanded that I try it, and I can report that it was in fact fantastic. The radish and cheese mixture was nicely chilled, and it made a great contrast with the hot fries. I did four layers: fries, radish spread, fries, radish spread. It was really good and I highly recommend it.
How to make the spread: Grate equal parts of red radishes and old cheddar. Moisten as much as you like with mayonnaise or miracle whip. Add salt and pepper to taste. And that’s it. Enjoy it with the substrate of your choice.
Some time ago, I bought a large jar of pickled eggplant. I like eggplant and was curious what the pickled version would be like. I had no idea how to use it, though, so I googled it. Of course, most of the answers involved bread products (sandwiches, crusty bread). And while I do use bought bread products occasionally, I try not to eat them too frequently.
I am also attempting to systematically use up items in my pantry. So that meant coming up with a non-bread way to use my eggplant. I like the idea of using it in a red Thai curry, and I like the idea of using it with pasta. I plan to try those later.
Yesterday, I decided to use it in a topping for french fries. I sliced up three small onions and fried them until they were just starting to turn golden. I added in about 1/4 cup each of pickled eggplant and pickled banana peppers. I put some fries in the oven to bake and let the onions, eggplant and peppers continue to cook together on medium low, and grated some old cheddar.
When the fries were done, I laid out a base layer on a plate. I added a layer of grated cheese, and then all of the onion topping. I added another layer of cheese and then placed the plate back in the hot oven for about five minutes to let the cheese melt.
The combination of flavours in the topping is fantastic. Cooking the vegetables together on the stove let the heat from the pickles infuse throughout the mixture. It was sweet, tangy and spicy. The acidity cut through the richness of the cheese nicely.
I think the combination would work well as a non-fry topping as well, either hot or cold. I am going to experiment with that next. It would be great to come up with an interesting vegan side dish. After all, I have a 750 mL jar of pickled eggplant to get through…
This tasty dinner reminds me of the best of British pub food. Yesterday, I made a rich curry with beef, onions, tomatoes, cabbage and coconut milk. Today when I got home, I threw some fries in the oven. When they were almost done, I heated up a portion of curry in the microwave. I made a bed of the fries and spooned the curry over top. Each bite had all the spicy flavour of the curry and the crispness of fries. So fast and so good.
Here is a fast and delicious side dish—feta fries. Bake up some fries so they are nice and crispy, and then toss them with some crumbled feta and any other flavourings you like. This batch has oregano, for a Greek flair.
Also note the other sides in the back. There’s mushrooms fried with butter and garlic. And there’s grape tomato salad with fresh basil and balsamic dressing. We had these, along with caramelized onions, with burgers as a way to kick off the summer barbecue season. All simple to make, and all really tasty. Let the barbecues begin!
UPDATE: We have found, through extensive scientific research, that the best feta fries are ones where the feta is crumbled into small pieces, the fries are well salted and dusted with seasonings after baking, and the dressed fries are put back into a hot oven for a few more minutes. We toss ours in a metal bowl and throw it in, directly on the rack. The extra time in the oven helps the feta melt a bit and stick to the fries better.
Poutine is a staple of French-Canadian cuisine. It’s simple but extremely tasty.
A few years ago, I went with my sister and my niece to a concert put on by Ron Cahute and Jane Lapko, the creators of these educational French songs. They performed their Poutine song, which goes like this:
Poutine, let’s start with the french fries,
Poutine, add the cheese and the gravy!
Poutine is my favourite thing,
It’s fries with an attitude!
Poutine is easy to make at home. You can use cheese curds or (if you don’t mind the wrath of poutine traditionalists) any cheese you like. I like a blend of mozzarella and old cheddar. I make my own gravy (with gluten-free beef broth and potato starch) and I bake my french fries until they are extra crispy.
To make it, you just need to make or reheat some gravy, prepare your chosen cheese and bake some fries. Then, all you do is layer your cheese curds or grated cheese on top of the fries and ladle gravy on top. Et voilà! The heat from the fries and gravy will melt the cheese, creating an ooey-gooey, delicious mess, all ready for you to dig in. Miam miam!
Poutine is a Québécois dish that combines french fries, cheese and gravy.