Try my Feta Fries for a fast Greek food fix! Click to Enlarge Image
To be honest, I was never very fond of Poutine. Perhaps it is the gravy, or the tasteless cheese curds, or the sloppiness of the dish which turned me off, I really do not know what it is, but I have never liked it very much. However, as I was helping my sister and brother-in-law to move the other day, I found myself out in rural
This Feta Fries recipe is my Greek food answer to Quebecois Poutine. The beauty of this particular recipe lies in its simplicity. I have heard of people adding gravy or mayonnaise or sour cream, or yogurt in similar recipes but take my word for it; they are missing the point entirely. There are only five required ingredients for this dish: potatoes, Greek feta cheese, dried Greek oregano, cooking oil, and some fresh lemon juice and that is all!
Nonetheless, there are a couple of points that need to be considered in order to get the most out of this recipe:
First off, Greeks do most of their frying in olive oil; this includes the frying of potatoes. Chips done in Greek olive oil are nothing like fries cooked in vegetable oils. Admittedly, the cost of Greek olive oil may be prohibitive in this respect, but if you can use it exclusively you will taste the difference. In point of fact, I often use an admixture of Greek olive oil and peanut oil when frying potatoes at home. I find peanut oil the most amenable to this task as it does not affect the flavour which the olive oil imparts to the fries. With respect to quantities, I would go with a 50/50 olive oil to peanut oil ratio.
Secondly, your choice of potatoes is also an important factor in the outcome of this dish. In
Finally, you must use a good quality Greek feta cheese (which is made from ewe’s milk and can contain up to 30% goat’s milk). In contradistinction to the tasteless cow’s milk cheese curds the Quebecois use in their Poutine, Greek feta cheese adds a fresh salty flavour which mingles incredibly well with the lemon juice and oregano sprinkled overtop of the fries.
All in all, I think it is safe for me to say that although my Feta Fries are essentially a Greek fast food, they are a much healthier and more flavourful alternative to more common convenience foodstuffs. Trust me... they will be the most popular thing on the table! Total time to prepare is 15 – 20 minutes.
3 large potatoes, peeled and thick sliced into uniform fingers
1 cup (250 ml.) Greek olive oil [Note: admixture of 50/50 olive oil to peanut oil is fine.]
1 cup (250 ml.) Greek feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon (15 ml.) dried Greek oregano
½ a lemon
- Heat oil in a large frying pan to 180° C (350° F).
- Add the fresh cut fries to pan and cook until done. Make sure to turn the fries a few times with a spatula, and to slightly swirl the pan occasionally to allow the fries to settle in order to ensure an even and thorough cooking. Stay on top of them as you do not want to overcook them. Crispy edges are fine but thoroughly saturated and darkened crisps are not.
- When cooked, remove fries from oil and set aside to drain on some paper towel for a couple minutes.
- If you have not already done so, crumble the feta cheese and turn on your oven broiler to the High setting.
- Place drained fries in an oven-proof serving plate (or platter) and sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese overtop of the fries to cover.
- Place the platter under the broiler for a few minutes until the feta cheese begins to melt slightly. (In restaurants this is known as the “salamander effect” which gets its name from the salamander broiler that is usually positioned above the oven.)
- Remove platter from oven (using oven mitts!) and place it on a heat-resistant surface or cooling rack for serving.
- Sprinkle the dried Greek oregano along with the juice of ½ a lemon on top of the feta fries and serve hot.
Kali Orexi! (Bon Appetit)
Greek Food Recipes and Reflections
Copyright © 2008, Sam Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved.