been a while since we've conversed.
So, to find my way out, resurge the kitchen groove and not drift totally away on winds of lackadaisical and slack, I ask my two junior homesharers for inspiration. They were ready, "as long as we're not confined to dishwashing and scrubbing vegetables(!)", quoted Z. (help!)
With that, the Smaller decided on a theme; a tummy filling, blog occupying experiment for the summer, if their time and my patience permitted. Groundrules not set in stone, went something like this; they pick out recipe to their liking, assist me to clean/cut/cook/bake/clean again, which means I grant freedom (discretionary, of course) to use sharp objects and stove (help again!). If it's good, I should be obliged to share it over here with you. I agreed with a casual hmm-murmur, my eyes masking the many desperate and dangerous scenes I had flashing in sequence. But it made sense and had me proud, mama of theirs, after all, if (?) it went right, they make for the most faithful kitchen comrades, an answer to the hairpulling that ensues when trying to figure out worthy lunch menus that need to translate for a qualifying recipeshare. It could also be the solution for my son's innate desire to rollercoaster anyone/anything in a swivel chair.
A and Z crouched over cookbooks and fiddled through magazines, foraged library shelves to find something they would love to eat and I would love to rattle on about. It was when A, my first child endowed with the keenest appreciation for spice, decidedly went on a pursuit for the perfect Indian french fry that brought her to the pages of Neelam Batra's Chili's To Chutneys. From her book came a treasure trove of goodies. So many ideas! But our eureka moment was, no doubt, on finding french fries, that too, touched with chaat, all too appealing for my 13 year old Indian gourmand and way too easy for me to resist.
With a fair sprinkle of garlic, we supplemented our new favorite flavoring; do meet Chaat Masala. A superconglomerate of spice powders + zing that produces that true gastro- exotic experience. Just a sidenote, and yes, you heard it from me, considering the ease in which this plate and many others can be flavored using this grand mix of ground magic, you are definitely better off buying chaat than producing the stuff from scratch. It could be my own lack of knowledge in this spice roast/ grind skill, but authentic can be purchased in packets of 100 gms. Easy, simple and right at your arm's reach. So, if you can't locate a single Indian grocer near you, look at what I found here.
After the high temperature roast, results were stunning and all batches came out wondrously good, much to gloatingly happy kid faces. With the fragrance of chaat and garlic, our stockyset "fries" were beautiful in their imperfections.
I seasoned the weighty, crisp-soft strands with chopped serranos and cilantro. Believe me, it adds considerable merit to the overall, so I beg you not to omit (just seed off peppers, if fear grips).
Magnifying the whole show even more was our three ingredient mayo, apt completion to this recipe's impressive turnout. The salmon colored dip is a must accompaniment, which also could work as an allpurpose, noteworthy condiment, the smooth velvet punched in with meaningful measure of chili garlic sauce ( I urge you, Sriracha junkies, bottle up!).
I hope you fall for this as much as we three did. My summer meetups with you may be errant, but rest assured I'll bring in tow only that which classifies as utterfantastic, of the mustmakenow category. Definitely enough to have you instant songwrite, possibly do a happy dance, maybe to the tune of another language.
(Adapted with modifications from Neelam Batra's Chilis To Chutneys, French Fries with Chaat Masala)
- 6 medium potatoes, preferably russet
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp chaat masala
- salt (if needed, most likely chaat masala has salt as an ingredient)
- 1 tsp oil
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 serrano peppers chopped fine
|Helper hands of my A, who came up with the recipe.|
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Clean and scrub outside of potatoes. Cut lengthwise into wedges, about 1" thick. I leave skins on.
- Toss wedges with garlic powder, chaat masala and salt to flavor .
- Coat a foil lined baking tray(s) with cooking spray. Spread fries in a single layer and spray over another coat of cooking spray.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning wedges over halfway through.
- Meanwhile heat oil in a small saucepan and lightly fry the chopped serranos and cilantro.
- Top fries with the fried mixture.
- Serve with chili mayo.
~How much a yield has to do with how big your slices. Cutting lengthwise to a width of roughly one inch creates around 36-40 fries.
- ½ c mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp Sriracha or any chili garlic sauce (please adjust to tolerance/taste)
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
|Taken by Z, who loves to be behind the camera, more than in front.|
- In bowl, whisk all ingredients until well combined.
- Serve side with the fries.
|I see much summer potential for these golden wedges. In greased foil, they can be thrown on the grill and served as side to most grilling meats and fish.|
"But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10