Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pommes Frites with Truffle Oil, Parmesan, and Parsley

French fries... Patates frites... Pommes frites... What's the difference?! Well, technically, I guess there really isn't much of one. They all mean the same thing - pieces of deep-fried potatoes. However, after having fries like this while in Milwaukee a few weeks ago, I've researched "pommes frites" and found that they are usually a more gourmet fry, and that there is a traditional format for them. French fries here in America can mean any kind of potato that is deep fried, while "pommes frites" generally refers to a long, slinly sliced strip of potato that is deep fried. In addition, the "pommes frites" are most often served with something a little more ...upscale... than ketchup. Not that there is anything wrong with ketchup on fries!
I had these fries, or something very similar to them, while staying at the Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee with my cousin for a concert a few weekends ago. These were served in the bar area, Envoy, as a part of their menu, along with several other delicious options, and were very good. If you ever get the chance to stay in the area, it's definitely worth it! And don't let the prices scare you away... I believe these cost around $8 at the restaurant, but you did get a giant pasta bowl full of them!
And while I do prefer to cut my own potatoes and make the fries myself, I would like to note that there are a couple of options if you don't like to mess around with stuff like that, or just don't have the time. McCain and OreIda both make a very good, thin-cut fry that would work wonderfully in place of the freshly cut potatoes.
As for the truffle oil, there aren't a whole lot of gourmet shops near where I live, in Green Bay, but I have found this, and many other goodies, at the TJ MAXX near me. When looking for truffle oil, whether it be white or black, you want to be sure that you're getting real truffle oil, and not just something that smells like it. So, you want to be sure that you look for a product that says it is infused with truffles or truffle extract, and shy away from products that are only made with "truffle essence." Also, you want to be sure to store your truffle oil in a cool, dry space away from direct sunlight so that it does not cause your oil to turn rancid or lose precious flavor.

Printable Recipe

2 large russet potatoes, cut into ¼" by ¼" fries
Oil, for frying
1 -2 tsp. white or black truffle oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley

To make the fries, preheat a deep fryer or kettle of oil to 350°. Begin by "par-boiling" the cut potatoes in the hot oil just until they are cooked through and limp; transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain and cool. Meanwhile, increase the temperature for the oil to 375°. Once the oil is heated, return the fries to the hot oil and cook again until the fries are crispy and light golden brown; transfer to a fresh paper-towel lined plate for just a moment to drain some of the oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
Once the fries are drained, transfer them to a large bowl and drizzle with just a little bit of the truffle oil, tossing to coat; drizzle with a little more of the truffle oil and toss to coat again, until the flavor is to your liking. While the fries are still hot, sprinkle them with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss to coat again. Transfer the fries to a serving dish and finish with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.


  1. I think I might need to go start making dinner now - those look so good, and I think I could eat an entire plate full!

  2. I am a bit ashamed to admit... I ate an entire bowl of these! But, thankfully, the bowl isn't all that big... Another one of my TJ MAXX finds! I've been looking for individual pasta bowls for a little while now, and found these beautiful ones the other day while I was there getting truffle oil!! And, they're just the right size! :-)

    Sigh... It's a good thing I get a free day from my diet... I don't think I could go my entire life without these! Lol

  3. I had fries like these at a restaurant in Vancouver a couple of years ago... I refer to them as "crack fries", because once you're addicted from the first bite! :)
    I just got myself a deep fryer, so I'll probably be making a big batch of these soon (preferably on a night when I'm home alone, so I don't have to share). Worth every calorie!

  4. Isabelle, they are, indeed, "crack fries"!! One bite of fries like these, and you'll be hard-pressed to desire plain ones again! And, I most certainly did not share mine either... ;-)
    And just imagine all of the different ways you could make them! How about frites with garlic oil, Parmesan, and fresh basil?! YUM!!