Thursday, July 14, 2011

Garlic Steak Fries, Zucchini and Yellow Squash Bake

I love working fresh garlic.  It's one of my top three most favorite things to do in the kitchen!  I love smashing the head and gathering up the cloves, smashing them again to peel, chopping and then rubbing with the knife and some sea salt to mince.  I love it.  I've worked garlic on a quiet afternoon just for fun before, even when there's no recipe that requires garlic on the menu.  I love it that much.

So when I found a recipe for garlic steak fries, I was all over that.  It was a recipe that I borrowed from Vegetarian Times magazine, but I changed it slightly to fit our tastes. These fries were very good.  Soaking in the hot water to pull out the starches makes them brown up crispier, so don't skip that step in a hurry.  It's worth the time. 

For tonight's dinner, I doubled the amount of oil I used to brown the garlic so I could use the garlic infusion on both dishes. Very tasty.  The menu was Garlic Steak Fries, Zucchini and Yellow Squash Bake, and some fresh Strawberries and Blueberries.  (We did not have a separate protein with supper tonight because we had already taken care of that at lunch. I served it with milk and that was good enough for the day. Feel free to add one if you need.)

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick wedges
1 T. canola oil
1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley 

Preheat oven to 475°F and coat baking sheet with cooking spray.  Soak the potatoes wedges in a large bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and return to a dry bowl.
In a small fry pan, heat canola oil, olive oil, and garlic over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic until it begins to brown. Remove the garlic to separate bowl and save for later.
Pour the garlic infused oil over potatoes, toss well to coat evenly, and season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place the potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet with a cut side down (not the skin). Bake 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are golden on bottom. Turn, and bake 10 minutes more, or until golden and crisp.  Right before serving, toss parsley into reserved garlic and sprinkle over fries. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Very pretty and easy to make.  Bake until browned on top, but don't let them get mushy by over cooking.
(NOTE: As part of our main meal, I used one good sized squash per person and our family had no problem eating it up.  But I would suggest using half a squash per person as a side dish.)
2 green zucchini and 2 yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4" thick
Olive oil
Salt, Pepper, other seasonings to taste (red pepper flakes, Italian herbs, thyme or lemon pepper are nice)

Try to buy zucchini and squash that are about the same size.  Brush bottom of casserole dish with olive oil and stand the squash slices up in the dish, alternating colors.  Brush tops of squashes with olive oil and season.  Bake about 30-40 minutes in a hot oven (425-475 degrees) or until just browned on top. 
(This is one of those dishes you can just throw in as you cook something else, so I don't have an exact temperature and/or time.  But this gives you an idea.  I actually just threw mine in when I put the fries in and both were done about the same time.)

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