french fries

Hans’ Poutine

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When  I was a small kid, french fries were a VERY special treat for me. At the time, restaurant visits were a seldom enjoyed occasion and therefore happened only once in a while. But whenever we did visit a restaurant, French Fries, or”Fritten” as they are called in many parts of Germany, were one of the highlights to look forward to. The most common dish served to kids was “Schnitzel with Fritten”, a small veal or pork scallop with french fries and sauce. Thus, french fries doused in sauce or gravy is one of my earliest and fondest restaurant memories. Imagine my delight many years later when I visited Quebec/Canada the first time and ordered Poutine. As the waiter explained it to me, this seemed to be the most ideal food in the world – french fries doused in sauce and topped with soft cheese.
But, my oh my, what a disappointment I got served: Crappy fries with crappy sauce and crappy cheese :-(.
(Sorry my dear Canadian friends, but this is how it appeared to me at the time.
I am of course talking about my very own, personal taste and opinion when I talk about this much beloved Canadian dish, but it is what it is – to this day I don’t like it in its original form. To make a point, have a look at a cross-section of Poutine on this Link, then tell me the majority of it does not look, to put it mildly, less than appetizing. On the other hand, If you love cheese curds…….
So, I was pondering this the other day and I decided to improve my Poutine experience, thinking of the possibilities which proper fries with proper sauce and proper cheese (meaning cheese I personally prefer to cheese curds, which I can’t stand),  could provide and I came up with this version, which I absolutely love.
I understand that nowadays, there are many different versions of Poutine available and popular, so my version is probably not as alienating to my dear Canadian friends as it would have been 40 years ago when I first encountered this culinary Canadian icon.
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Bon Appetit ! Life is Good !
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Hans' Poudine

Hans’ Poudine

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Hans' Poudine

Hans’ Poudine

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Link to how to prepare great Tomato Sauce
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How to prepare great French Fries:
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Peel large baking potatoes and cut them into even size fries. Add to COLD duck fat and set on medium-high heat. Carefully stir fries once in a while so they cook evenly. Once they are golden brown, they will be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Remove to absorbent paper, then toss in a bowl with sea salt and cayenne pepper. Enjoy 🙂
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Turkey Season Is Over – Let The Steak Season Begin

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Turkey  anybody ? Thank you, me neither 🙂
So now that things are finally back to normal (for a short while anyway, Xmas is looming around the corner, ready to attack), I had this wonderful dinner yesterday. The only sour note was that I had no duck fat in my larder to fry the potatoes, so I had to use olive oil. Same crispness and really good taste, but not as divine as when cooked in duck fat. (Got a tub on my way home from work today) 🙂
So, without further ado, I give you :

“Broiled Flank Steak ,  Porcini In Cream And Pommes Frites
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures, click on pictures
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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EASY DOES IT # 18 – Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up & Fries (NOT)

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Just  a little nonsense to entertain your kid’s on a rainy day :
Fried eggs sunny side up & fries – yogurt, peaches and cantaloupe melon. Have fun 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good ! (Sunny side up – even when it rains……..
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Fried eggs sunny side up & fries - yogurt, peaches and cantaloupe melon. Have fun :-)

Fried eggs sunny side up & fries – yogurt, peaches and cantaloupe melon. Have fun 🙂

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EASY DOES IT # 18 - Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up & Fries (NOT)

EASY DOES IT # 18 – Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up & Fries (NOT)

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EASY DOES IT # 18 - Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up & Fries (NOT)

EASY DOES IT # 18 – Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up & Fries (NOT)

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EASY DOES IT # 17 – Hans’ Homemade Buffalo Sauce

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While  buffalo sauce is most famously used for chicken wings, I use my recipe for many other dishes, such as steak sauce, light coating for sautéed shrimp, sautéed vegetables, sautéed potatoes, etc, as well as fried foods such as  chicken hearts, duck gizzards, chicken wings ( pictured below). I also use it as a spicy dipping sauce for french fries and whatever else needs a bit of a pick-up 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Recipe :
Melted butter                  1/2 cup
Sriracha                           1/2 cup
Green tabasco                 1  tablespoon
Confit garlic paste          1  tablespoon
White vinegar                   1  tablespoon
Honey                               1  tablespoon
Maggi seasoning              to taste
Kosher salt                        to taste
Mix all ingredients well, check / adjust taste

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Easy Does It # 17 - Hans' Buffalo Wings

Easy Does It # 17 – Hans’ Buffalo Sauce

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Easy Does It # 17  Hans' Buffalo Sauce

Easy Does It # 17 Hans’ Buffalo Sauce

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Easy Does It # 17  Hans' Buffalo Sauce

Easy Does It # 17 Hans’ Buffalo Sauce

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Schwäbischer Zwiebelrostbraten Mit Pommes Frites (Swabian Style Rib Eye & Fries)

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One  of any true Swabian and Austrian favorite dishes, zwiebel rostbraten is usually served with spätzle and a small salad.
For my lunch today I substituted the spätzle with “Hans Special Fries” and omitted the salad. I also added capers and a bit of the capers pickle liquid to the sauce. I have done that for many years and although not original, it will enhance the flavor of the sauce positively.

Bon Appetit !   An Guata !
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For Recipe Of Hans’ Special Fries, Click Here
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(You don’t have to watch it, just click once)   Thank you 🙂
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Caviar & Frites

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Caviar & french fries ?
It might sound’s a bit over the top and it will be if you use crappy fries. But use fries you have just fried in duck fat, top them with Greek yogurt and the best caviar you can afford and you have yourself a super culinary  treat.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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Peel large baking potatoes and cut them into even size fries. Add to COLD duck fat and set on medium-high heat. Carefully stir fries once in a while so they cook evenly. Once they are golden brown, they will be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Remove to absorbent paper, then toss in a bowl with sea salt and cayenne pepper. Enjoy 🙂
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Caviar & Fries

Caviar & Fries

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Entrecôte Au Poivre (Classic French Pepper Steak)

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When  was the last time you have seen a classic  steak au poivre  on a restaurant menu outside of Europe?
The best you can usually find elsewhere is it’s poor cousin, a steak covered in  green peppercorn sauce (Entrecote Au Poivre Vert).
While this can be excellent, it’s flavor and texture is far removed from a steak covered in freshly crushed black pepper and sauteed, then served in a sauce build from it’s very own pan drippings and some other goodies.
Last night I served this with my “special” fries. What makes them “special” is the fact that I fry them only once instead of the usual required two times. I start them in cold peanut oil ( or better yet, duck or goose fat if available) and let the temperature slowly rise to 385 F. By the time the oil is hot and the fries are golden brown, they will be creamy on the inside and very crisp on the outside. I season them with both fine salt and sea salt. The fine salt adheres better to the fries while the sea salt gives me the taste and crunchiness associated with sea salt.

Bon Appetit !   Life Is Good !
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Entrecôte  Au Poivre

Entrecôte Au Poivre

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Hans'

Hans’ “Special” Fries

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Fried Cornish Hen, Pommes Frites & Baked Parmesan Tomato

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After  I cooked this meal and started eating it, I became acutely aware of a monstrous mistake I had made: I had two hens in the fridge and I only cooked one, thinking it would be enough. I should have known better.
This could be the poster child for comfort food. The crispy, juicy , oh so tender cornish hen, freshly fried , crispy, tasty pommes frites and a great heirloom tomato baked with scallions, freshly grated parmesan and seasoned with sea salt and cayenne pepper. The whole schamukkus served with mayonnaise to dip the frites and a mixture of soy sauce, lime juice and chili oil for the meat.
Absolutely delicious – I just wish I had cooked both of the cornish hen’s  🙂
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Fried Cornish Hen, Pommes Frites & Baked Parmesan Tomato

Fried Cornish Hen, Pommes Frites & Baked Parmesan Tomato

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Ingredient’s :

Cornish hen,   padded dry inside and out
Makeshift fryer,   filled with heavily salted peanut oil
Chili oil,

Potatoes,   peeled, cut into fries
Duck fat,
Sea salt,
Cayenne pepper,

Heirloom tomato,   cut in half
Parmigiano-Reggiano,
Scallions,   cut into 3 inch lengths
Sea salt,
Cayenne pepper,
Butter,   melted,

Method :

Fry the cornish hen at 375 F until very crispy and cooked through. Remove to absorbent paper. Drizzle with chili oil.

Add the potatoes to the cold duck fat and heat it until the fat reaches a temperature of 375 F. Cook until crisp and golden brown. Remove to absorbent paper. Sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Season tomato with salt and pepper, top with grated parmesan. Dip scallions in butter and season with salt and pepper. Place on parmesan topped tomato. Bake until parmesan crust is golden brown.
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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” Why Are Most American Burgers Crap? “

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Easy boy’s and girls, just trying to get your attention here.
But-

For many years the american style burger was a complete mystery to me.
You see, when I came to America forthe first time in 1970, my  “burger”
senses were still completely in love with our german version, which go
by the names of:

Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischpflanzln.

To this day I can not understand how one can forgo the deliciousness
and texture of a “proper” Frikadelle for a limp , skinny, mostly dry and
tasteless meat patty made of  low grade, unseasoned and uninteresting
ground beef.
( Remember friends, I said “most’ American burgers, not all )
Of course, the principle of having a good piece of meat layered with lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and a variety of other goodies is a wonderful
idea. But, if this is such a standby and tradition for so many folks, why on earth
do most people treat it like crap ? Crappy buns, crappy patties, crappy condiments.
No love.
So here is what I suggest to the american public:
Let’s make GOOD burgers from here on !     🙂
I will throw the first coin by giving you all the simplest and best recipe for
a plain, good old frikadelle . There are many variations and once you have
mastered the basics, you should experiment until you find your personal favorite.
A frikadelle is a very versatile dish. It can be served as a snack, cold with mustard
to dip and a slice of sour dough bread on the side. Or as a lunch or dinner dish,
with mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce, roast potatoes and fried onions,
french fries (fritten) and salad or any other side dish, condiment and sauce
which would go well with a steak or burger. Just make sure that if you go the
few extra steps to make a wonderful frikadelle instead of a measly patty,
don’t destroy the good stuff by adding lesser sides and condiments.
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If you are a burger fanatic, you want to read :  History of the Hamburger

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. finely diced  (about 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 day-old roll (about 2 oz.), softened in hot milk and squeezed dry.
  • 1 lb. ground meat (half and half; pork and veal)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3 T. chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh marjoram
  • 1 T. butter

Method :

  • Saute onions in oil until translucent. Cool slightly.
    Cut softened roll into little pieces in a bowl, add meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
    Heat butter and olive oil together in a frying pan. Form 4 patties and fry over medium high heat until browned on both sides. Place the patties on a baking sheet and place in a 350°F  until done. You may also continue frying them in the pan until they are no longer pink inside.
    Variation 1: You may want to roll your patties in dried, seasoned bread crumbs before sautéing for a really nice, crispy exterior.
    Variation 2: If you have German relatives, they might tell you to add some Maggi.  In my house we use Maggi as a table side condiment.
    Variation 3: Meat Patties with caraway. Substitute 1 teaspoon caraway and 2 teaspoons prepared mustard for the parsley and marjoram.
    Variation 4: Add 4 ounces of finely chopped bacon to the meat .Find your own best burger recipe by experimenting
    and giving them the love they deserve  !                       🙂
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” Currywurst “


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Here
  is my reply to a fellow chef who asked ( jokingly, I assume ) for a 
” secret ” sausage recipe :

Only if you don’t laugh at this Jeff. 🙂
I will not give you a recipe for any sausage because i have never made one following a recipe. You give me the meat, I get the seasoning and method,and off we go. Sausage making is, as i am sure you know, not about recipes, but about understanding the chemical reactions of the ingredients, temperature and time and the result you want to achieve.
However, I am sure you have heard of the German “Curry Wurst”. There are many variations, but the main ” secret ” is the “Curry Sauce”. I have surprised many a fellow chef who was not familiar with curry wurst ( mainly americans , since curry wurst is not usually served in this country ), by serving them a variety of different sausages as curry wurst, The sausages were usually pretty good, so nothing earth shaking here. However, the reaction to my ” Curry Sauce ” was usually and, surprisingly to me,  very positive.
I alway’s give up my recipes if somebody is mercyfully interested in them, but this one is so tremendously simple I don’t even consider it to be a recipe :
Simmer a bit of water, add curry powder, a bit of worcester sauce and ketchup. Simmer for a few minutes, cool down. Done.
Anything off the grill or pan or fryer you dip into this sauce – excellent !
As I said, don’t laugh – as with all food, sometimes the simple stuff gives the most satisfaction.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

All about CURRY WURST

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