Fall For Your Favorite Snacks: French Fries!!

FALL FAVORITES

 { SNACKS }

FRENCH FRIES!

{ It’s no surprise that french fries are one of my favorite snacks, meals, medicines, + general past times of all time. But I especially find them appealing in the fall. Fall, in general, is a capital time to snack. For one – it’s #back2school, which pretty much fuels the snack industry. For two – it’s getting just a tad bit cooler, which begs us to whip-up heartier combos. }

My fall snack staples include:

  • hot coca with marshmallows
  • popcorn with evoo, salt, pepper, + a sprinkling of cheese
  • homemade french fries!

I’ll eat anyone’s french fries. But I’ve just discovered that I can fry my own! This tickles me. Before we talk recipe, check out my quick tips for all of these delectable + comforting snacks:

  • Hot Coca with Marshmallows: Healthy for your World.

I buy Fair Trade Equal Exchange cocoa mix + vegan marshmallows from Abundance Cooperative Market. The coca is more expensive. … But so is craft beer, and even I {the woman who can no longer drink beer} know it’s worth it. Plus, Fair Trade Equal Exchange ensures an “economically just and environmentally sound” world. I’m down.

  • Pop Corn: Healthy for You.

I pop my own … in a microwave! Yes. This is true. Scoop 1/2 cup of un-popped, regular kernels into a brown paper lunch bag. Micro as per usual. (I do 2.5 minutes or until the popping slows.) Pour into a bowl + season. How. Much. Fun. Is. That. … And you control the toppings. Recently, I made garlic infused butter and poured this overtop with parmesan cheese. … Instant gourmet snack, in literally 2.5 – 3 minutes.

Homemade Fried French Fries

I cannot find the recipe I used last night. It was that magical.

These are neither healthy for you nor healthy for your world (unless you buy local or organic or IPM … you get the point). But they are flippin’ fun. I recommend looking up your own recipe. (There are a ton!) Here’s my informal version and the tips + tricks I used:

  1. Ingredients + Materials – dutch oven (or huge sauce pan) | canola oil (or peanut oil – any oil with a high smoke point) | russet potatoes (most sites recommend these or any high starch potato) | paper towel | plate | salt | mesh spoon (whatever that’s called) | recommended – thermometer | optional – bowl, water, strainer
    • tips + tricks Mr. Potato Head. It’s a funny thing while stove-top frying instead of deep frying. Most recipes encourage you to buy high starch potatoes for crispy, sturdy, meaty fries.  The recipe I used last night instructed to use a high starch potato, but to draw the starch out, exactly because this is a stove-top fry. I’ll speak more to that soon. In the meantime, I say – use whatever potato you got. (Look up separate recipes for sweet potatoes.)
  2. Prep – slice potatoes to desired thickness (1/4 – 3/8 in.) | soak potatoes if doing so | if not or while potatoes drain + dry: add oil to pot + heat
    • tips + tricks Practice Safe Frying. One time my mom fried a chicken wing and almost burnt her face-off. It’s because we underestimate how much oil bubbles once something’s dropped in. IE – If you’re waiting for your oil to bubble so you can guess how hot it is … DON’T. First – make sure whatever pot you use is no more than 1/3 – 1/2 filled. Second – This is why a thermometer is highly recommended. (Goal temp: whatever your recipe says.) … I didn’t use a thermometer (because I don’t own one), + I felt comfortable eye-balling it. But I was lucky I didn’t overfill my pot with oil. Phew. Once I added those fries, it really got a bubble going.
  3. Recommendation – Add to bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. If you use a red potato, white, or new potato (low starch), try 10 – 15 minutes. This draws out the starch.
    • tips + tricks – The Starch Factor. Apparently high starch is best when frying. But, according to the recipe I used last night, high starch might not be best while stove top frying. I soaked a low starch potato, and the result was perfect. (To my taste buds.) Though I can see how it could have been crispier. Solution? Try something in between: i.e. soak, and then thoroughly dry, a high starch potato.
  4. Fry – When oil reaches frying temp, use wire mesh spoon to gently add potato slices to oil. Flip slices mid-way through. Fry for 5-6 minutes. Drain on rack or paper-towel lined plate when finished. Salt to taste.
    • tips + tricks – Give Them Their Space. Do not add too many at once – fry in batches. This ensures even coloration and crispness. If you happen to pull some before desired doneness, add them back! (Worked for me.)
  5. Rest – Most recipes call for 10-15 minute cool time. … Just don’t burn your fingers or your tongue.
    • tips + tricks – Worth It. I wasn’t that patient. But I also didn’t burn myself. Maybe clean up some of your surroundings while the fries cool. This way, your will power isn’t totally … fried.
  6. EAT – Enjoy salted and plain. As a snack or with a meal. Dress up in a cute cup. Or eat off the grease-stained plate.
    • tips + tricks – You Think You Fancy, Huh. I would include a photograph of my plated fries … except that I devoured them instead. But I did make a garlic mayo (veganaise) and pair it beside ketchup, both of which I placed in bowl and plated amongst my salty, savory, fresh french fries.

* * *

I love fall, and fall snacks might just be my favorite snacks. They’re so comfy + cozy + crispy + yum. What are your fall favs?!?

#fallfavorites
#eatlocal

XO.

Review. Blue Apron Meals.

I am over a blue moon for Blue Apron Meals. Which is an understatement. This evening, I finished cooking the 3rd meal of my 1st delivery from these culinary geniuses, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!! Food/Meal Delivery Service does not begin to describe Blue Apron Meals, a Brooklyn-based company. Learning about ingredients. Learning to Cook. Eating. Enjoying. Blue Apron Meals is a rich experience. Let’s take a look at some of their claims + I’ll let you know how they measure up!

First Round of Meals: 2 meals/dinner. But I got more!!

My First: {Bottom} Cod with Crispy Kale, Roasted Tomato + Fregola Sarda {I substituted brown rice}. Haul: 2 dinners + 1 lunch. Splendid.

My Fav to Cook: {Right} Spice-Rubbed Pork Medallions with Peach Salsa + Cilantro-Green Bean Rice {left overs box}. Haul4 meals + rice and salsa left-overs!

My Fav to Eat: Lemon Basil Chicken with Corn + Shiitake Mushroom “Risotto.” Haul: 2 meals. I fly solo, so I cannot wait for lunch tomorrow.

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Blue Apron – Learn More ~Taken from website: select points summarized. For full list, please visit http://www.blueapron.com/pages/learn-more ~

Original Recipes

*35 min to prepare on average: This is true, but it definitely depends on your knife skills. This week, 2 of my 3 meals took about 35 minutes. Because of the prep involved with the Spice Rubbed Pork dish, it took that long just to cut all of my veg. Yet at the same time, this was my favorite dish too cook because of that. Which brings us to our next point…

*Pre-portioned ingredients to save time + reduce waste: It’s like having your own sous chef! Pre-portioned ingredients put the relax into cook. Not only does it reduce waste, but it also adds ease to my cooking. Constantly wondering if I’ve purchased enough or chopped too much can definitely detract from the culinary experience and often discourages me from trying something new. From a spring of cilantro to a cup full of parmesan, it’s amazing how small a gesture pre-portioned ingredients adds to the experience of cooking and quality of taste.

*Easy to follow beautifully printed recipe cards: If pre-portioned ingredients are your sous chef, then meal cards are your teacher. While each card teaches 1 meal, each meal teaches several recipes. From how to cook cuts of meat to whipping up seriously tasty dressings, Blue Apron Meals may as well be BlueApron Tutorials. The instructions are clear. The pictures add ease. And the ingredients list helps to organize. I’ve already started a binder where I can file these meals away for keeps.

*Premium seasonal ingredients from artisanal purveyors: When I cook, I cook with what I’m already familiar or with what I already have. Basil. Rosemary. Since my herb garden consists namely of these {for now}, this is exactly what I use in most every dish. But Blue Apron Meals teaches you how to spice-it-up. Not only am I cooking with multiple fresh ingredients, but I am using multiple within each recipe. Whereas I would’ve normally relied upon white onion, #BAM provides red onion + shallot. Whereas basil is always my go-to, #BAM mixes it up with basil, cilantro, oregano, and lemon basil. The ingredients are premium. And I’m learning how to pair. Voila.

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*Fresher than the supermarket: Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Yes. My ingredients arrive from Brooklyn, in a refrigerated box, and, yes, they are the freshest. Tomato . Red onion. Peach. Basil. Every ingredient I’ve sampled while doing my prep has tasted like I grow it in my own backyard. And check out the meat! Pork tenderloin + chicken breast, alone, are better cuts than I’d ever pick out or be able to afford in most grocery stores or butcher shops. This week they came from the respected Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors in North Bergen, NJ. The most tender pork + moist chicken I have ever had in my entire life. Ever.

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*Free and convenient delivery to most of the country: Yup. It’s free. {Check the map on #BAM website to make check on your state.} That huge box with all of those ingredients. I literally pay $60/week for an average of 9 meals. {The plan I signed-up for guarantees 2 meals/dish. For me, it averages to be more, plus some left-overs!}

Convenient Delivery

*Carefully packaged in a refrigerated box, so our meals stay fresh even if you’re not home when we delivery: Absolutely 100% true. I felt so excited by my first delivery, that I intercepted it at lunchtime. This week, I’ll probably wait until I’m home from work around 4:30PM. Delivery is between 8AM + 8PM, and the ingredients will stay fresh.

* * *

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Tips + Tricks

*Store your Herbs. Yes, they come pre-portioned in cute little bags, but you will want to ensure they last more than just a few days. I receive my box on Wednesday and when I cooked my final meal today {Sunday}, the lemon basil was too wilted to use. No criticism on #BAM’s part. This week, I’ll just be sure to wrap them in paper towel + then store in their cute pre-portioned packets.

*Be ready for Left-Overs. You will have left overs! From this week’s haul, raw ingredients like 1/2 a shallot and 1 whole lemon still have a spot in my fridge. I’ve even noticed that #BAM sometimes over-proportions ingredients. From the Lemon Basic Chicken recipe, I still have a handful of sugar snap peas to munch on as a snack. Even full servings of a side dish might make an encore appearance. With the Spice Rubbed Pork, not only did I end up with 4 separate meals {again, #BAM portions for 2}, but I also had enough left-over rice + homemade salsa enough to combine as a lunch. Talk about bountiful.

*Have the Basics. While #BAM did provide me with a generous pad of butter for this week’s corn “risotto,” other staples are absolutely necessary. Aside from kitchen utensils, this week the only 3 staples I had to provide on my own was olive oil, salt, + pepper. Blue Apron Meals loves to use olive oil. So if that’s not your jam, know your substitutes. Which brings us to…

*Know your Substitutes. As you may know, I am recently #glutenfree! {Still loving it.} While I do not believe that #BAM has this dietary option yet, I know that, based upon this past week, about 95% of ingredients are gluten free friendly. Still, be prepared. When the Cod with Crispy Kale called for the Italian pasta Fregola Sarda, I substituted brown rice. When Lemon Basil Chicken asked me to dust the cutlets in flower before pan searing, I substituted gluten free pancake mix. {It worked!} Best part about substitutions?? Keep the #BAM ingredients in your cupboard for when the occasion arises. It is a match made in pantry-heaven.

*Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. + Share! Cooking with Blue Apron this week has been a joy. It’s one of the most relaxingly pleasurable ways to harness a serious sense of accomplishment. And I get to share. This past Friday Momsly + I indulged in leftovers from the cod and the pork. She even took a cutlet home, fixins and all, to my dad. My favorite part of sharing?? Posting pics + vid to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Blue Apron Meals with notice. So get to it!! And get your Blue Apron Meals appetite. {For extras + videos, follow me on Instagram + Twitter!! @babsiell.}

Bon Appetit. 

Blue Apron Meals.

XO.

Shop Local. Go Buy Rochester for Tasteful Additions.

Asha Waterstreet, owner of
Tasteful Additions
.
This Mother’s Day you need to be shopping at Tasteful Additions, a specialty oils, vinegars, & salts store located on Monroe Avenue in Pittsford that is so much more. A must-visit. Mother, brother, daughter, father, aunt, uncle, & just because, this #ShopLocal hub will satisfy all of your culinary (and body care!) needs. Read about why I cannot wait to return again & again & again and why Tasteful Additions is a Go Buy Rochester member. I dare you to enjoy it as much as I (& my mom)!!

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xo.