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Monday, February 7, 2011


We all know that phrase, "Everything in moderation." Well sometimes you want things more than in moderation, right? I'm thinking chocolate, ice cream, and french fries. I like to think that we could either pursue moderation or perhaps make substitutions. Dark chocolate instead of that sugary, gross milk chocolate. No sugar added frozen yogurt for ice cream. And baked fries made from any number of veggies. The last is one of our menu items from our Super Bowl watching yesterday.

These fries are baked, not fried, and are made from portabella mushroom slices. I've heard of baked fries from sweet potatoes, which are delicious, but was surprised by this suggestion from Molly's mom after she dined at Bottega Louie in Los Angeles. Though I dislike portabella mushroom caps as substitutions for hamburgers, I really liked the way these crisped up in the oven and they were delicious dipped in basil aioli. I suggest you whip up a batch soon!

Portabello Fries

Portabello Fries with Basil Aioli

For Portobello Fries:

1/2 cup of bread crumbs (store bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese or Pecarino
Pinch of red crushed pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of oregano
Salt and Pepper
2 portobellos
2 large eggs, beaten

For Basil Aioli:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup packed basil leaves
½ tsp. lemon juice
1 medium garlic clove, pressed
Pinch of salt
½ cup mayonnaise

1. Preheat oven to 425˙F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray.

2. On a plate, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, red crushed pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. In a small to medium bowl, beat the two large eggs.

3. Cut the portobello mushrooms into 1/8″ slices. One by one, dip the portobello slices in the beaten eggs and transfer to the place with the bread crumb mixture, being sure to coat the mushrooms thoroughly.

4. Place the bread crumb covered mushrooms on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, checking on them after 10 and flipping them to ensure thorough baking.

5. In the jar of a blender (or a small food processor), combine the olive oil, basil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth like pesto, pausing every now and then to scrape down the side of the blender jar with a small spatula or knife.

6. Put the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add the basil mixture, and stir well to mix.

7. Enjoy your fries with a little dip in the basil aioli.
Eric Lovelin Photography


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