i figured since i was already on a roll with the cooking theme, i would post a food recipe (since one can't live on cocktails alone!). plus, i promised my aunt i would post this recipe! :)
now i couldn't find much history (in english anyway) about steak frites, but i did determine that the dish was first prepared around 1930 at a restaurant in paris, though the dish also has belgian origins. though i can't provide much information i can assure you that it's a delicious dish, and one of our favorite meals! i will admit that i do not make a traditional version, but rather a version inspired by the steak frites at the elysian brewery in seattle. there are great recipes for more traditional versions online, so i encourage you to try those too!
danae's steak frites (with sweet potatoes)
i have two versions of this recipe, a regular and a light version. tonight i made the regular version so that's what i have photos of. i'll include notes on making the light version at the end. this recipe will make enough for 2-4 people depending upon how hungry you are!
1 1/2 pounds of steak (your choice of cut)
1 bag frozen sweet potato fries (i usually use the trader joe's brand, but a lot of grocery chains are carrying them now too. if you're in the seattle area, i just found them at fred meyer- they're the crinkle cut kind which i used for these photos)
1 c. milk, half and half, or heavy cream (depending upon your preferences)
2 c. shredded cheese (i've tried several different kinds and as long as it's a strong, hard cheese they've all been great! my favorites are gruyere, parmesan, or romano. the elysian dish that inspired my version uses crumbled bleu cheese).
2 t. fresh ground pepper
1/2 t. salt (more to taste)
1/2 t. truffle salt (optional)
pre-heat oven to the temperature specified on the packaging for the sweet potato fries.
generously season steak with salt and pepper. pre-heat grill to med-high. (if you're not as crazy as we are and don't grill in the winter you can use a grill pan on the stove, or sear the steaks in an oven proof skillet and then transfer to a 300 degree oven until med-rare.)
when oven is hot, bake fries as specified on the package.
when the grill is ready, begin grilling the steaks to desired doneness. (tip- don't press steaks while grilling, this will keep your steaks nice and juicy).
meanwhile, warm milk or cream in a small saucepan over med-low heat. watch carefully so the cream doesn't scald. when the cream is warm to the touch (yes, you can use your finger- just make sure it's clean. ;), add the cheese. continue to warm over med-low heat until cheese is melted and sauce has thickened. stir frequently. once sauce has thickened, add black pepper and salt to taste. reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, until fries and steaks are ready.
once steaks have reached desired doneness, let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes. slice diagonally, across the grain.
place fries on each plate, arrange sliced steak over fries and top with cheese sauce. garnish with a sprinkle of truffle salt (if desired).
now, if you'd prefer to keep things a bit lighter, you can use the same recipe, but instead of the cheese sauce prepare a parmesan butter...
4 T. grated parmesan cheese (not the powdered, canned kind)
3 T. butter (room temperature)
mix butter and grated cheese in a bowl.
when plating the steaks, top with the butter.
easy and less fattening! if you really want it to be light- use 4 c. of arugula or other greens instead of the fries.
hope you find this as delicious as we do! please feel free to leave a comment with any questions or to tell me how your version turns out!