Friday, August 31, 2012

Cowboy Fries & Blue Cheese Gravy

Admit it, I had you at Blue Cheese, didn't I?

I also made Chicken Fried Chicken and poured the gravy over the top. OHMYGIDDYAUNT it was good. Of course, if I had a steak it would have been better. That was just poor planning on my part- not having red meat in the house.

First off, let me tell you how excited I am that I made gravy! I know, it seems like such a small thing. But by-golly I've been trying to make gravy for 20 years. It never turns out right. Too thick, too thin, too floury, too salty (not any more!), too bland, whatever. You get the idea. 

I know, I know. My dad owned a restaurant and made gravy every day. He even tried teaching me. And up until this recipe, I've made gravy exactly one other time. Long distance on the phone with my dad every step of the way.

You would think since I can make elaborate main dishes and fascinating sides that gravy would be easy.  Yeah, you'd be wrong. Or rather, WERE wrong. Not any more. I can proudly say I think I've mastered the art of gravy. I would make Julia Child proud.

I was going about it all wrong. You see, I was trying to make gravy. Ha! My mistake. I should have been trying to make a nice bechamel sauce instead. And that did it. What I didn't realize is- I can make sauces. It was the gravy part that threw me. 
So I decided to go into it with the attitude that I was making a nice creamy sauce!  (Ok, stupid, I know. But work with me here, will ya?) 
It seemed to have done the trick. I made gravy and am no longer afraid that it will come out icky (that's the technical term). 

Here's what I did:

Cowboy Fries 
5 or 6 potatoes, sliced into wedges any size you desire. Just try to keep them slightly on the fat side.
4 T Olive Oil
1/4 C White Vinegar
1T Steak Dust (or Montreal Steak Seasoning or your favorite Salt-Free Mrs. Dash )

I know I tout a no-salt diet. And this does have salt in it. That's by default. You see, a friend gave Grau the Steak Dust for Christmas last year and we haven't used it. The main ingredient is salt for heaven's sake! But, I knew I would have to use it eventually, so this is the result. Go with it, m'kay? At least I can say we used some and it was fabulous...


Slice potatoes into wedges. I like leaving the peel on. It gives it more of a rustic feel. (Like my 20 year old Pampered Chef cutter? I use it ALL THE TIME!) :

Rinse potatoes and soak in vinegar and enough water to cover the fries for 15 - 20 minutes:

Pour out the water and pat them dry and put back in the bowl:

Add the Olive Oil, making sure to coat all the fries: 

And the Seasoning:

Coat the fries really well and lay on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Some fries may have more seasoning than others. That's okay. If you want, you could sprinkle more seasoning over them after you've placed them on the tray:

Aren't they just lovely? Make sure you don't crowd them on the sheet: 

Bake at 400 degrees until nice and crispy. Mine took 25 minutes, but I like my fries a bit on the crunchy side:

When they are done, make the Blue Cheese Gravy. You can thank me later for this one. I wish I had the pictures of how to make the sauce, but I got so carried away with it, I totally forgot! My mind was busy telling me I was making a cream sauce. LOL

Blue Cheese Gravy

4T Butter
4 T flour
1 C Half and Half
1 t black pepper
Milk (optional)

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture thickens then softens up again (about 3 minutes)
Then add Half and Half, stirring quickly.
Add in Blue cheese, continue to whisk. Turn off heat.
Your gravy will turn slightly robin's egg blue. This is normal. Let the cheese flavor meld into the gravy for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly to whip around the crumbles in the creamy goodness.
Add the black pepper, stir to combine.

If you find that the result is too thick for you, you can add milk at 1/4 c increments until gravy reaches thickness you desire.

Serve over your favorite Cowboy Fries or Steak!

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