The last time we were in Philly visiting friends, we made a pit stop between sports bars at a swanky little restaurant to get some tasty treats. One of which came in the form of a french fry served with a fondue dipping sauce and a drizzle of basil oil. It was probably one of the best small plates I've had so I decided to give it a try for Supper Club. Still working with the premade polenta I bought last week, I sliced the brick into fry sized pieces and tossed them in olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. We baked them at a really high temp in the oven until they came out crispy and golden on the outside and still fluffy on the inside. As a base, I made a parmesan dipping sauce that could be made ahead and warmed through on the stove at a later time. Here's the fix:
Dice 1/4 white onion and saute in about a tbsp of olive oil. Once the onions are cooked through, add 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup italian cheese blend, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan, cracked black pepper and 1 tsp nutmeg. Whisk until the cheese is melted completely and the sauce is creamy. Once at supper club, I transferred the mixture back to a sauce pan and warmed it through again on the stove top. I started a bit too early so I ended up adding a few tbsps of white wine to loosen it up again. I am convinced that wine only makes everything better, so I'll add that to the recipe moving forward. Delicious!
The basil oil couldn't have been easier. I have globe and sweet basil in my garden so I gathered a few handfuls and blanched the leaves in a little salted water. Once I patted them dry, I added the leaves to a food processor, blended and added oil until I felt I had the right consistency. The blanching brings out the basil flavor and helps to retain that beautiful green color.
When we were about to serve the 'fries', I placed the glass container of basil oil in a sauce pan with about an inch of hot water to help steep the basil even more. I left it on the stove for about 10 minutes to warm through.
Plate it up! I smothered the parmesan sauce over a dinner plate and placed the fries directly on top of the fluffy, creamy goodness. Topped it all off with a little drizzle of the oil and then I forgot my manners. I couldn't resist grabbing one immediately off the plate before everyone else was served. Whoops!
And because we take supper club seriously, we had many more delectable delights. I am hoping Alison will share her bbq sauce recipe...and Squints her gouda mashed potatoes and corn bread...or maybe we can just have another supper club, PRONTO!