Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cooking Guru

Yes, I have a cooking Guru. His name is Daniel Pinard and it is because of him that I love to cook. About ten years ago he was hosting a television show (Ciel! Mon Pinard) and he was the first person I ever saw on TV who was absolutely at ease in his kitchen and absolutely did not use a recipe.

He would get letters and emails asking him to give the measurements and cooking times and he would always say to experiment and discover what was right for us. Eventually his recipes found their way on the show’s website but his recommendation to just experiment stuck with me. I got both his cookbooks, which are more stories than recipes, and read them like you read a novel. All the advice he has ever given me (because he spoke to me and me alone, don’t you know) has never failed. When he told me that parchment paper was a must have in the kitchen, I ran out and got some and I have never looked back. When he used a hand held mixer to make the easiest mayonnaise ever, I went to the store and bought the exact same one. Ten years later, I’m still making mayonnaise with it, and countless other things.

When he told me to make French fries using olive oil, I thought he’d gone nuts! But his fries were gorgeous and looked so delicious, well, I just had to try. They were the first fries I had ever made and they were the best I’d ever eaten, by far! I’ve never made fries any other way but I hadn’t made any in a few years. Why? I don’t know exactly. But all this talk about frying and donuts of the past week or so got me thinking that I had never been scared of making those fries, because I made them following my Guru’s recommendation. He has recently started hosting another television show after many years of not being on TV. I’m thrilled to see him again on a weekly basis and even though I’m learning from many others these days, it is because of him that I’m so passionate about food, cooking and kitchen stuff. Do any of you have a cooking Guru?

Olive Oil French Fries
Russet Potatoes, as many as you need
Olive Oil

Peel the potatoes and cut them into thick or thin fries, depending on how you like them. Put the potatoes in cold water to remove the starch that would make them stick together. Drain and dry the potatoes and put them in a large pot. Cover them with olive oil. Now this is important, do not use your best olive oil for this, any olive oil will do. Turn the heat on high and don’t turn it down until the fries are golden brown. That should take 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your fries. Remove the fries from the oil and drain them on a paper towel. Salt to taste.

Homemade Mayonnaise
1 egg
1 ½ cups canola oil
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice
salt to taste

In a tall container combine all the ingredients. Using a hand held mixer, start mixing at the bottom of the container and pull the mixer up as the emulsion begins to form. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mayo.

For a sun dried tomato mayo: chop up a few sun dried tomatoes, in oil, and add to the ingredients along with a tbsp or 2 of their oil.

For a roasted garlic mayo: add a few cloves of roasted garlic to the ingredients.

For a pesto mayo: well, you get the idea ;)

If you’re freaked out by using raw eggs: don’t make your own mayo!

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Unknown said...

Isn't it great to eat french fries with a dip? Lovely!!

A. Rizzi said...

so lemme get this straight, you put the raw potatoes in room temperature oil, then heat it up?

Patricia Scarpin said...

These fries look so good! And the flavor must be incredible with the olive oil... Love the mayo too.

LyB said...

Arfi Binsted - It's the best ;)

A.Rizzi - Yep, that's all there is to it!

LyB said...

Patricia - They are the best fries ever! The olive oil taste is not very strong in the fries though, just enough.

Nic said...

I would love to see that show, I have never heard of Daniel Pinard.
And very interesting way to cook chips (fries), I guess it's ok if you don't want that many. I don't cook them that often, but when I do, we have a ton!

Anonymous said...

Great looking healthy fries! And your mayo suggestions sound really good. Maybe I'll make mine wasabi mayo. :)

Aimée said...

Ok, I have been craving fries and this post isn't helping! Looking GOOD!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I've only baked fries. Yours look delicious and worth the effort of frying.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I must have thought these were baked. I saw the pictures then went straight to the delicious sounding mayo recipes. Even though they are fried, I'd still eat these up in a second - they look so good!

LyB said...

Nic - We don't make that many or I'd eat too much ;)

Made Healthier - They're not that bad if you don't eat too many, and they are really good!

Aimée - Thanks so much!

Lynn - They're not that much effort but definitely worth it!

Anonymous said...

J'aimais vraiment le concept du ''coeur au ventre''. Je vais essayer ces frites. Merci, ça a l'air délicieux