Month: October 2012

Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Gumbo

Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Gumbo

It was years ago when my wife and I last visited New Orleans. It was one of the best trips we probably had together. As the trip was a short one, both my wife and I attempted to consume as much of New Orleans as…

Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Noodles (Bún Thịt Nướng)

Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Noodles (Bún Thịt Nướng)

Walk into any Vietnamese restaurant and and you will most likely see someone eating Bún Thịt Nướng, I mean, a grilled pork dish served on top of noodles, and most likely served with a crispy egg roll. I first encountered this dish while living in Dallas.…

Hand Cut French Fries

Hand Cut French Fries

When it comes to burger night (yes, we have a burger night) in my house, the default side dish is french fries. Almost everyone loves burger night with the exception of my daughter. As she once loved burgers, she now refuses to eat them, and that’s fine. My wife and son are a plain cheeseburger group, while the my other son is a plain burger stacked with bacon. Me, it doesn’t matter. I typically go with whatever I have around me whether it is bacon, caramelized onions, raw onions, Greek olives, whatever. But there is one thing that we all agree on, and that is the homemade french fries.

Hand Cut French Fries Recipe

Now if you have never made homemade french fries before, I think you should. Sure, the store bought frozen kind will always work when you are in a pinch, but trust me, there is a major difference between hand cut fries, and frozen fries.

Lets get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large russet potatoes, washed, cut into 1 inch wide strips
  • 3 cups of canola oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste

I toggle back and forth with skin on and skin off on the potatoes. I’m a big fan of skin on fries, but my kids can be picky at times when it comes to that matter. As pictured above, I went with skin off for my kid’s sake.

Begin by adding the cut fries to a large bowl of cold water, and keep them in there for about 20 minutes. This helps remove a bit of the starch from the potato.

Now you have a couple of options here as well. You can drain the potatoes at this point and dry them on a large towel, getting them ready for the oil, or you can par-bake them. I also toggle back and forth on this one, and they both yield to making great potatoes. On this one, I par-baked them in a 350 degree oven, on a wire rack on a baking sheet, for approximately 15 minutes.  During this time, add the oil to a medium-sized pot, along with one sprig of rosemary, and bring that up to about 300 degrees.

How to make hand cut french fries
How to make hand cut french fries

Take the other sprig of rosemary, and pull all of the needles off of it. Finely chop that into the minced garlic, and set aside.

Remove the rosemary spring. In small batches, add the fries and cook them only for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set them aside on some paper towel. Repeat with remaining potatoes.

When the potatoes are par-cooked, and drained, bring the oil temperature up to 350 degrees, and once reached, add the potatoes in small batches, back to the oil, cooking for another 5-7 minutes, or until they are golden brown, and crispy on the exterior. Again, remove with a slotted spoon, and set on some more paper towel to drain.

Repeat.

Add the fries to a mixing bowl, and generously season with salt and pepper. Toss in the rosemary and garlic paste, breaking it up, and mixing that into the fries, tossing along the way. I’m a big fan of rosemary and garlic fries. If you do not prefer either, simply discard that process.

What you end up with are perfectly crisp french fries that are nice and tender on the inside.

Give these a shot, I’m certain you will love them as my as my wife and kids.

Hand Cut French Fries
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large russet potatoes, washed, cut into 1 inch wide strips
  • 3 cups of canola oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. I toggle back and forth with skin on and skin off on the potatoes. I'm a big fan of skin on fries, but my kids can be picky at times when it comes to that matter. As pictured above, I went with skin off for my kid's sake.
  2. Begin by adding the cut fries to a large bowl of cold water, and keep them in there for about 20 minutes. This helps remove a bit of the starch from the potato.
  3. Now you have a couple of options here as well. You can drain the potatoes at this point and dry them on a large towel, getting them ready for the oil, or you can par-bake them. I also toggle back and forth on this one, and they both yield to making great potatoes. On this one, I par-baked them in a 350 degree oven, on a wire rack on a baking sheet, for approximately 15 minutes. During this time, add the oil to a medium-sized pot, along with one sprig of rosemary, and bring that up to about 300 degrees.
  4. Take the other sprig of rosemary, and pull all of the needles off of it. Finely chop that into the minced garlic, and set aside.
  5. Remove the rosemary spring. In small batches, add the fries and cook them only for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set them aside on some paper towel. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
  6. When the potatoes are par-cooked, and drained, bring the oil temperature up to 350 degrees, and once reached, add the potatoes in small batches, back to the oil, cooking for another 5-7 minutes, or until they are golden brown, and crispy on the exterior. Again, remove with a slotted spoon, and set on some more paper towel to drain.
  7. Repeat.
  8. Add the fries to a mixing bowl, and generously season with salt and pepper. Toss in the rosemary and garlic paste, breaking it up, and mixing that into the fries, tossing along the way. I'm a big fan of rosemary and garlic fries. If you do not prefer either, simply discard that process.
  9. What you end up with are perfectly crisp french fries that are nice and tender on the inside.

 

Homemade Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna

I recently found myself eating lasagna for dinner, and breakfast, and lunch the following the day. I thought I was going nuts because, well, I am in love with lasagna. To me, it just screams comfort food. An all-in-one dish that has layers of noodles,…

Arroz Caldo

Arroz Caldo

Arroz caldo. Now that’s a funky name isn’t it? If you know any Spanish, then you would know this as rice soup. As I asked my wife, “did you guys grow up eating arroz caldo?”, she seemed confused and never heard of it. I said…

Cinnamon and Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Cinnamon and Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

It’s Halloween time, and I can’t say that my kids are overly excited about trick or treating this year. A sign they are getting older, sure, but other than that, not sure what is going on. It’s candy for crying out loud! But there is one thing that my kids were excited about and that was getting pumpkins to carve, and not only that, but having me roast them some seeds. It’s funny watching the kids grow, and reflecting back on last year, they were all pretty grossed out when they had to stick their hands in the pumpkins to remove the pulp and seeds. They actually could not go through with it and had my wife and I had to finish that task for them. But this year was different, well, kind of.  As the two youngest dove right in and removed the seeds, it was my oldest who still could not go through with it!

Recipe Cinnamon and Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

So there I was with the seeds from three pumpkins. I will admit, I was thrilled. It was my job now to remove the attached pulp from any of the seeds and prepare them for roasting. I made two batches. Our favorite, roasted pumpkin seeds with salt and butter, and these pumpkin seeds roasted with cinnamon and sugar.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds, cleaned
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • parchment paper, optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Add the cinnamon, sugar, and salt to your pumpkin seeds.  Pour the melted butter over the seeds and give them a good mix.

Line a baking sheet onto a roasting pan. Pour the seeds on top and spread them evenly onto the pan.

How to make roasted pumpkin seeds

Place these in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until fully roasted.

You get a couple of things with these pumpkin seeds. First your house will just smell amazing. It was hard for my kids not to resist to open the oven and pull those seeds out ahead of time, but they were patient enough for me to pull them out and plate them up. Second, you get a pretty darn delicious and sweet snack.

If you are looking for something new to do with your pumpkin seeds, give these a shot.

Cinnamon and Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds, cleaned
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • parchment paper, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the cinnamon, sugar, and salt to your pumpkin seeds. Pour the melted butter over the seeds and give them a good mix.
  3. Line a baking sheet onto a roasting pan. Pour the seeds on top and spread them evenly onto the pan.
  4. Place these in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until fully roasted.