Did you notice the other things that were on the plate that held my delicious perfectly-cooked steak? Of course you did!
It was not a salad. There were french fries on that plate. Actually, because the recipe for them came from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz too, let’s call them frites on y va? Oui nous le felons. Frites are such a popular side dish for steak that it is the actual name of an actual dish! That name would be steak frites which I believe translates to steak and fries.
The other stuff on the plate was aioli. That name is a result of combining the French for garlic (ai) and the French for oil (oli). Who says learning a second language is hard?
Aioli is a divine combination of mayonnaise and garlic which is the very best thing to dip frites into. This time I had some roasted garlic in the refrigerator, so that’s what I mixed with the mayonnaise.
Making frites from scratch is dangerously easy. Here’s how.
Get the potatoes.
Slice them into sticks. I left all of the skin on because I like ’em that way.
Soak the potatoes in cold, lightly salted water.
After an hour of soaking, dry the potatoes. Be sure they are very dry.
Put the potatoes into a bowl, drizzle olive oil over the potatoes then sprinkle them with salt and toss that all so the potatoes are coated. I didn’t have any fresh herbs left, so I added dried thyme. Pour the potatoes onto a baking sheet and get them into a hot oven.
While the potatoes are becoming frites, make aioli. You can make your own mayonnaise but I had already spent time chopping parsley and potatoes was keeping my eye on those frites and worrying about the timing of everything so I used store-bought mayo and added roasted garlic to it. A search online will easily find a recipe for this heavenly condiment: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/aioli-garlic-mayonnaise-recipe/
After 45 minutes of flipping the potatoes and turning the sheet pan, there were frites.
Here’s the recipe for frites:
Frites (French Fries)
3 pounds (1.3kg) potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
Fresh herbs, such as a big handful of sage leaves, a few sprigs rosemary or thyme, or a mixture of them
Peel the potatoes, leaving on a few strips of skin as you go. Cut the potatoes into 1/3-inch-thick (1cm) slices. Lay the slices on a cutting board and slice them into 1/3-inch-wide (1cm) sticks. Put them in a large bowl with very cold, lightly salted water, and let them sit for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Drain the potatoes and lay them on a kitchen towel. Rub them with the towel to dry them very well. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Place the potatoes on the baking sheets. Dribble the olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Add the fresh herbs and mix everything together with your hands. Spread the potato sticks out in a single layer on each baking sheet.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pans from front to back and top to bottom midway during baking. As they bake, stir the potatoes several times so they cook evenly. Once the fries are golden brown and crispy, remove the pans from the oven and serve.