Terrorist Fries and Caprese

Tonight, fried potatoes and caprese for everyone! I know, you're thinking what is she feeding her poor family? Has she gone vegetarian and taken them down with her? Dear Husband is as suspicious as you are, and even more suspicious of my excuse of forgetting to buy meat today, but the caprese won him over. (Secretly, though, I have been leaning in the meatless direction. It's so healthy, and good for your heart, and I get tired of meat every day. I don't need to worry about what the DH thinks, he never reads my blog, thank God.) It's a hit all around, so colorful and so Italian! Little freddie hates tomatoes, but after I forced him to eat one bite of caprese--a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella, and a basil leaf or two--he couldn't stop eating it. I had to slice up some more tomatoes and pick more basil from our little garden to make us more!

The tomatoes I planted back in early July have finally been putting on fruit and ripening beautifully. Nobody believed me that they'd grow because I'm a black thumb, but I like to think it's getting a bit grey, maybe. Here they are, deep red, sweet, and with that wonderful tomato smell.

DH calls the potatoes I make "terrorist fries." That's not an insult. He loves them, but from day one has called them that. To be honest I've forgotten why. Oh yes, the first time I made them it was during the Bush years, and there was all this anti-French sentiment floating around, which he had to mock by calling them Terrorist instead.


Well, as fun as that was, I can't really see the point in making fun of Mormon mothers who blog about cooking for their families. Really it would be much more fun to read them yourself. I cannot possibly match the genius of: "My hubby and I have a new house rule for guarding our waistlines. If you MUST have it, you must MAKE it from scratch!"

And the end, about my imaginary husband's political commentary (actually my brother's), just sounds like me anyway.

There is a problem with fall: that it is fall. I don't really need to spell it out for you, but I will. Summer is ending. The light is lower. It's getting colder. The porch is already getting covered in dead leaves. I've apparently given up trying to write semicoherent posts.

Anyway, I'm surprised that I haven't posted something about "terrorist fries" here before. Maybe it was because I didn't want to share the silly name. Really I'm not sure what else to call them. Chips? What does one call thick-sliced potatoes roasted with lots of olive oil. They taste more or less like french fries, but round, and with a somewhat different texture (in part because the potatoes are never Russet, the variety used for french fries). Like french fries or chips they're good with barbecue sauce, or salt and malt vinegar, or this time I used balsamic because I didn't have any malt vinegar.

There are a limited number of foods I make when I don't really know what to make, and these are one of them. When I need something starchy to go along with odds and ends from the fridge, I often make these. Somehow, throwing them in the oven set to 450 F seems easier than, say, putting on a pot of rice. Their delicacy lies in how thickly they are sliced (about 1cm), which somehow seems less daunting than the subtleties of timing and proportions of water to rice. Sure, I could overbake the potatoes, too, but as long as I check them every couple of minutes, they're very easy to visually assess. When they are browned to your liking, they are done.

They are my brother's creation, although I suppose I increased the oven temperature, at first more out of haste than to create the desired consistency. I don't remember exactly how they came about, but I believe it was when we were having a LAN party. If you know what that is, then I need not say any more, and if you don't, you need not know any more. We were making baked beans and tangelo meringue pie, and, well, maybe we wanted something to go with the baked beans. Maybe we had no potato chips, and one of us suggested (it seems like this would be me) that we make potato chips. I think that was it. I remember us saying to each other that they weren't quite potato chips (they weren't crispy all the way through), they were still really good. Good enough to have stuck, apparently.

6 September 2011

look at that delectable little tidbit, like a tiny Italian flag