Friday, May 14, 2010

Chix & Dumplings & Steak & Fries

Roasted berbere rubbed half chix w/ dumplings, gravy, and grilled (kind of favas)

Halved Plum Creek chicken, backbone cut out and split along the breast bone. Berbere spice mix from Spicehound (add some salt). Takes no time at all in a 450 oven. Gravy is a little flour cooked in the chix's pan drippings, thyme, salt, pepper, and duck stock. Favas were coated in olive oil and salt, cooked on a grill pan, and then salted before eating edamame style (idea from here). Fava's and spice mix from the Tremont Farmer's Market, chix from Shaker.

Those salad greens are from Tremont too. Topped with a vinaigrette, onion, and Lake Erie feta. (If you like goat cheese, I'd recommend trying Lake Erie's and Luck Penny's fetas to see which you like more--they're both very good, but very different. Lake Erie's is available at the WSM at Annemarie's, Lucky Penny's at Tremont and elsewhere.)

Steak frites w/ compound butter. Perfect in its simplicity.

The steak is a ribeye from Millgate Farm. While grassfed meat is usually pretty lean, one of the Millgate cows came back from the butcher looking wagyu than select. This steak was from that cow. Salt and peppered, seared in bacon fat, and thrown into a hot oven for just a few minutes, it was everything grassfed meat could and should be.

The butter was just butter, salt, and parsley.

The best sauce for fries--buttered steak juice. There's a good reason this dish is so ubiquitous. And it's pretty amazing when a simple potato holds its own bite for bite with great beef.

For frying the potatoes I took stock of what was around the house. There was plenty of duck fat. Plenty of lard. Plenty of . . . vegetable oil. Corn oil specifically. I'm all about animal fat fries--they're good. But sometimes it's hard to beat the clean taste of fries cooked in vegetable oil. I'm not saying that I think duck fat fries are all hype. I'm just saying that there's more than one way to make a quality chip.


Bite Buff said...

Looks delicious!

stefan said...

on the fries...any special prep, soak, pre-boil, etc...? what temp are you frying at? they look pretty badass, but i can never get them that gbd without being slightly underdone.

The CFT said...

Thanks Buff.

Stefan, not much special. I peel and slice the potatoes, putting the cut ones in a bowl of water just as long as it takes to get all the potato prepped. They can sit in the water for a while though. For frying, they're twice fried. Once just longer than it takes for the oil to stop rapidly boiling--the water gets cooked out of the potato I think. Then they're drained for not long at all (again, they can sit at this stage for a while), and put back in the oil which regained heat with the fries out. The second fry is for color--there's no color after the first one. As for oil temp, I just put some oil in a wok for a small batch and when it looks hot I through a quickly drained fry in. If it sizzles hard the temp is fine and I add the rest. I really don't worry about the specifics of it--I figure it's about the same for the first and second fry (it's "supposed" to be hotter for the second fry, but like I noted, I don't check the temp). Hope that helps.

Lizzie Ackerman said...

mmmm wish i was there for that steak and fries!

The CFT said...

yeah, too bad about that. gossip girl on?