West Side: Sam Densmore, Anabot, Urban Fries and a BBQ Portobello and Cheese Sandwich to Bring it all Home
It wasn’t that long ago when J-Fur sat me down at our kitchen table and said “We need to talk. Seriously. You have a kitchen gadget problem.” I stared into our crowded kitchen and thought for a second. There was the immersion blender but that thing really helps make soups without the mess of pouring into a food processor. I’ve had one two many nights of cleaning broth off my floor because it leaked from a tiny food processor crevice. I wasn’t going back to those days. There was the food processor itself but that was helpful for when I wanted to ruin pickled daikon. The bamboo steamer makes vegetarian sausages possible. The dutch oven made barbecued stuck pot rice a reality. Then my eyes viewed the greatest kitchen gadget of all, the mandoline. J-Fur saw me peering in that direction and she nervously pushed her hands together. “Do you really want to go back to imperfect fries?”
I had her. Time for the reverse psychology. “I really can’t think of anything to get rid of except maybe the mandoline. But I do love perfect fries.” So we agreed. I could keep my kitchen gadgets as long as I promised to store them in a closet and not to buy anymore. Not a problem. Of course, since this conversation took place, she has purchased a rice cooker, pressure cooker, popcorn popper and a juicer. Might be time for an intervention.
Back to those perfect fries. I put together a batch on Friday night right before the Flyers game. These were to go along with the BBQ Portobello and Cheese Sandwich that I was making from the Chubby Vegetarian (this is what is pictured as the fry shots weren’t very good). It was my second time making the sandwich and I wanted some crispy fries to go along with it. I decided the crispy fries would get a little Urban makeover. Urban Fries were made famous by a place in Sacramento named Jack’s Urban Eats. I have never been there but I’ve heard the online raves from fans. These fries are your typical fries drenched in a sea of blue cheese, chili oil and fresh parsley. That was my kind of treat.
-blue cheese dressing
-hot chili oil
-flat leaf parsley
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub the potatoes and slice with the mandoline until perfect. Place the fries in a large metal bowl. Add the vegetable oil, paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir with your hands to completely coat the fries with oil. Lick your finger to make sure the spice mixture is what you want (I never measure, just sort of dump and taste).
2. Place the fries on a baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes. Flip over and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. The fries should be golden and crispy.
3. Mix blue cheese dressing with a small amount of hot chili oil (again, I based this on taste and didn’t really measure). Pour over the french fries. Top with the flat leaf parsley and something spicy (I added some red pepper flakes). Eat and wonder if they taste anything like the real thing.
To go along with these California inspired fries I chose artists that reside on the West Coast. This was made easier by Green Light Go who sent out a West Coast inspired email a few weeks ago. First up was Sam Densmore. Densmore is a Portland resident that crafts folk rock in the same vein as R.E.M, Cat Stevens or the Mountain Goats. His new album is called Ku-Thar’-Tik and is scheduled for release on June 19, 2012. Here is “She’s Going to Want You” from the upcoming album:
From Boulder, Colorado is Analise Nelson who performs under the moniker Anabot. She makes a hybrid type of music that she dubs retroelectric rock ‘n’ swing. It combines electronic pop with a retro outfit. Or, borrowing from Anabot herself, it is a “pop time machine with a rock engine.” “I Am Not Afraid of the Dark” comes from the Anabot’s self-titled album which is also due out June 12th.
You can find out more about both of these artists (and hear more music) at Green Light Go’s website.