So, when I read (here, and later became inspired to write this post) that a predicted food trend for 2012 would be customized french fries, right off the bat I had a pretty good idea of what they were talking about. I watch a lot of food and travel shows (when my kids aren’t dominating the tv with Caillou or Team Umizoomi), and I’ve also noticed a trend in the making.
My first exposure to the over-the-top french fry concept was a dish called poutine. This is a regional Quebecoise delicacy consisting of french fries topped with a beefy gravy and melting cheese curds.
I can only imagine how delicious these gut-busters must be…
For my version, I’d like to lighten things up a bit. As hedonistically scrumptious as they may be, if I’m feeding this to my family, I’d like to see some veg in the mix, as well as to take the artery-hardening-factor down a notch or two.
Step number one in that direction is to prepare the potatoes in the oven, rather than deep frying them in oil or animal fat. Check out Fun French Fries Part I for a quick ‘n easy method for no-fry fries (and be sure to brush up on the health benefits of potatoes while you’re in the neighborhood).
Once you’ve got your fries roasting-toasting away in the oven, (just salt to season this batch, leave the crab seasoning for another day) you can get started on my:
Wild Mushroom, Onion and Sage Gravy
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces exotic wild mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, hen of the woods, morel, porcini, crimini, and/or the like)
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup beef or chicken stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Put a big saute pan on a medium flame and start heating the olive oil. While that’s going, slice up your onion thinly…
Add it to the pan with the fresh sage and the Worcestershire. Immediately it smells incredible.
Let the onions get soft and translucent and then add in the mushrooms and the garlic …
After few minutes you’ll notice the mushrooms are giving you a beautiful earthy aroma. At this point you want to sprinkle the whole mess with the flour and stir to coat.
You might see there’s getting to be some brown schmutz on the bottom of the pan. Don’t fret, that schmutz is called fond and it’s actually awesome.
Add in your stock and scrape the schmutz/fond up off the pan and into the bubbling sauce you’re creating.
Now add the balsamic and let it bubble away and reduce (get thicker) for about 5 or 10 minutes. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Pour it over the fries and top with grated cheese. I’m using Gruyere because I dig the french-onion-soup vibe it’s laying down…
Click here for the Fifth of the Series: Truffle Fries
Click here for the Fourth of the Series: Buffalo French Fries
Click here for the Third of the Series: Greek-Style Chili Cheese Fries
Click here for the First of the Series: Crabby Fries with Cheese
Click here for the Intro to the Series: 2012 Food Trends for the Home Cook