Thursday, June 9, 2016

Brabant Potatoes - Louisiana Fries

Brabant Potatoes, known as Louisiana fries, are made from peeled and cubed potatoes, first blanched, then deep fried and tossed with a rich, butter garlic sauce. A delicious side for fish, or any main dish!

Brabant Potatoes - Louisiana Fries

While still served in high end restaurants around here on the Gulf Coast, I'm afraid that Brabant Potatoes, a Louisiana style, cubed, fried potato side, has mostly fallen out of favor with home cooks in recent years - probably due to their multiple steps.

Although folks seem to be making their way back to home cooking - and often, lamenting the fact that they didn't pay more attention to their grandmother in the kitchen - I'm afraid that in this hurry up, busy world we live in, we've mostly become more of an eat out and fast food nation.

This is especially sad for someone like me, who truly enjoys not only the creative process of cooking and of sharing with others, but also the distinct flavors of a lovingly prepared, home-cooked meal.

Unfortunately, our younger generation may not even know what that tastes like anymore.
Just inserting a quick reminder here.... that this is a blog, not just a "recipe site," and yes, there is a difference! I want to first thank all of you who have supported my work over the years, but if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such in a post, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!
Of course, yes, my blog is my work now, and my work is centered around cooking, so I have the advantage of working in my home, the way I want to work, and not how somebody else dictates I should work.

All of that considered, bloggers work much harder than folks think, and especially when it involves cooking, so it seems my time is as cramped as it's ever been in all of my working life!

I enjoy good food, and I like to eat a wide variety of it, so I'm not at all a picky eater, and I'm no food snob either. I like beans and weenies, backyard barbecue, skillet dinners and casseroles, as much as I do fancy, chef-prepared meals.

Snapper Collar with Shrimp, Gulf Crab, Roasted Fennel, Pickled Ramps and a Lemon Garlic Broth - the winning entry from Chef Alex Eaton of The Manship Restaurant, Jackson Mississippi, at the 2016 Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off competition, where I participated as one of the judges.

I got to eat that y'all, and it was delicious!

Unfortunately, my casual restaurant and fast food experiences the past few years have not exactly matched those dishes and have been, well... mostly underwhelming.

Tough gristly, not at all inexpensive steaks, overcooked, under-seasoned seafood, soggy, droopy or even cooked over again fast food fries, burgers so dry that you could choke on them, or else dripping with a gross overabundance of condiments, slapped on stiff, tasteless stale buns. Nothing looks anything at all like it's advertised! 

I don't know if it's just around here or everywhere, but what the heck is going on? Maybe I'm a little bit spoiled, but home cooking is in my control, and frankly, far better than fast food can ever be.

Oh mercy ... forget about it. Let's get back to these potatoes, shall we?

I'm not sure anybody, including me, knows the origins of Brabrant Potatoes, how they came to be named that, or even how they've made their way to the Deep South.  You can find them in some of the older cookbooks like Recipes & Reminisces of New Orleans (1971) and La Bouche Creole (1981), and as far back as the Picayune Creole cookbook (1922). They’ve been around a long time!

The difference between these and say our more classic skillet fried potatoes or home fries, is the process.

For brabrant, first, potatoes are cubed and parboiled.
Second, they are deep fried instead of skillet fried, and last
They are finished with a toss in a rich, buttery garlic sauce.

Not exactly diet friendly, but then they aren't really intended to be consumed in massive quantities either. They are an enhancement, a side dish, often served alongside fish or seafood here in the Deep South, although they're good with pretty much anything else.

To save some time, cubing and boiling the potatoes in advance is a good idea when preparing this dish, and they can be held in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two until you're ready to fry them. Once fried, they're transferred to a low oven, which dries them to help with receiving the sauce, but also keeps them warm while you prep the rest of your dinner.

Here's how to make them. As always, scroll past the step by step tutorial to get the full recipe with measurements, instructions and a printable link.

For the garlic butter sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan, add oil and garlic and simmer until garlic is tender; set aside to cool. Once cool, stir in chopped parsley. Combine seasoning blend in a separate bowl; set aside.

Peel potatoes and cut into 3/4 inch cubes, holding in a bowl of cool water as you go. Drain and transfer to a saucepan and cover with fresh water.

Bring to a boil and boil only until slightly tender, about 10 minutes; drain.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. Heat oil in a large, deep, heavy pot. Add the potatoes, frying in batches, and turning to brown evenly, for 3 to 4 minutes.

Right as they come out of the fryer, transfer to paper towels, sprinkling each batch lightly with a pinch of the seasoning blend. Transfer potatoes to serving platter and place into warm oven, about 20 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the meal. Add any remaining seasoning to the garlic butter sauce, add potatoes to the saucepan and toss.

Return to serving platter and serve immediately.

See more of my yummy potato recipes on Pinterest!

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Posted by on June 13, 2016

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