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Dinner Tonight | QUICK FIX

Steak and Frites, Coming Right Up

November 08, 2000|MAYI BRADY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There's nothing quite as satisfying as a good steak paired with really fresh, crisp fries. And this steak-and-fry combo takes just minutes.

Sure, there are frozen French fries available that are pretty good. But if you own a mandoline or Japanese vegetable slicer with a julienne attachment, bistro-style fries are at your fingertips.

The key to these light, crisp fries is to make sure that your oil is hot enough; then you want to fry them twice. Even if they only sit for five minutes after the first fry, the second frying really crisps them up.

Add a salad, and bon appetit.

MENU

Bistro Steak and Pommes Frites

Green Salad

Bistro Steak

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes

1 tablespoon butter

2 (6- to 8-ounce) steaks, such as strip steak or rib-eye

Salt, pepper

1/4 cup crumbled creamy blue cheese

* Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper, then add them to skillet. Cook until steaks are nicely browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn steaks over, top with cheese and cook another 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare.

2 servings. Each serving: 356 calories; 449 mg sodium; 126 mg cholesterol; 22 grams fat; 0 carbohydrates; 37 grams protein; 0 fiber.

Pommes Frites

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes

1 large baking potato, about 3/4 pound

Salt

Oil, for frying

* Using a mandoline or vegetable slicer, cut unpeeled potato into long matchsticks. Immediately place in bowl filled with generously salted water.

* Heat about 1 1/2 inches oil in large shallow saucepan. When the oil reaches 375 degrees, you're ready to add potatoes. Drain the strips and blot dry. (If you don't have a deep-fry thermometer, you can toss in a sacrificial fry. If it starts bubbling right away, the oil is hot enough.)

* Fry strips just until they soften and start to look a bit translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove fries with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a little salt, then let stand about 5 minutes. Place fries back in hot oil carefully (oil will bubble up quite a bit.) Finish cooking until fries are pale golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Again, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little more salt.

2 servings. Each serving: 175 calories; 158 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 31 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 2.70 grams fiber.

INGREDIENTS

STAPLES

Butter

Baking potato

Oil

Bottled salad dressing

SHOPPING LIST

Blue cheese

Bag of mixed greens

Steaks

GAME PLAN

20 minutes before: Cut up potato and place in salted water. Begin heating oil.

15 minutes before: Fry potato strips the first time, drain on paper towels.

10 minutes before: Cook steak, finish making fries.

Just before serving: Toss salad.

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