Cornmeal Crusted Fries & Steak Pizzaiola

I have yet to go to the farmer's market to get fresh corn. Corn is my favorite vegetable. With creamy whole butter, it's my number one comfort food, I think. I love it on the cob or in really makes me happy. Macaroni and cheese with crisp, sweet kernels of corn folded in, makes my mouth water. With the tang of some hot sauce or a bit of yellow mustard or even a small pile of pickled peppers that Peter would loved to have picked....this is home to me.

Oh...I got a new job (as in additional job) as a baker in a local shop. I'm excited. Aren't you?
Until I get out there and get some husks, I'm using cornmeal for a new dish.

Cornmeal crusted french fries & steak pizzaiola
The fries are crispy, crunch and (somewhat) healthy

Cornmeal crusted french fries
Serves 3-5

2 lbs yukon gold, baking, or starchy potatoes
3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp each paprika, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, optional: brown sugar
1 cup course yellow cornmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut potatoes into julienne, french fry or any other desirable uniform shape. Submerge all potatoes in fresh, cold water to retard oxidation. When ready to cook, drain fries and use kitchen towels to blot as much water as possible from potatoes.
Drizzle oil over potatoes and add seasonings. using hand or slotted spoon, coat potatoes with seasoning. Add cornmeal and continue to mix until all fries are coated.
Place fries on a silpat-covered sheet pan or lightly greased sheet pan in a single layer. Use multiple pans, if needed.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with kosher salt, to taste.

Steak Pizzaiola
Serves 4
4 (1/2-inch-thick) steaks (t-bone, NY strip, sirloin--all acceptable)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp light olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 oz white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons triple sec
5 diced tomatoes with juice (approx. 2 cups)

Pat steaks dry and cut 3 slits 1 inch apart across center cartilage (if needed, to keep meat from curling). Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook steaks in 2 batches, turning over once, until meat is seared and no more than medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a platter as cooked and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.
Sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms over medium high heat, stirring, until onion is golden. Add tomatoes with their juice, red pepper flakes, triple sec, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes and onion are tender. Remove lid and cook until most of liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add steaks and cover with sauce and cook until heated through. Spoon sauce on top of steaks.

Steak pizzaiola over the fries. Like Steak Frites the Southern American Way.
Don't forget to enter the drawing. I really, truly want you to win.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

Leave a reply

  1. Congrats! It looks like a cool place to work. This is gping to lead to great things. I noticed the use of triple second in the steak. Interesting

  2. Oh a job baking! how funny. Those are some good looking fries!

  3. Nikki, these recipes sound delicious. Congratulations on a new (additional) job. My goodness girl, you have the energy of an energizer bunny! Are you ever at home? When do you have time to cook? Will you be baking? I am so jealous. Be sure an share what you learn with us. Good job.

  4. Congratulations on ths baking job! That surely will be fun :) Oh, and I've totally loving the cornmeal crusted fries - so creative!

  5. Man, steak frites. Southern style. That's the perfect meal.

  6. I've got to try these fries! I love the idea of them. May have to make them next week. So busy...

    Congrats on your job! Is it fun? What do you get to bake?

    I love corn too. Mmm, corn chowder.

  7. Those fries look great! :)

    I am really excited about your new baking job! Can't wait for the stories!

  8. I love these fries. Another great option for using up all of that excess cornmeal in the kitchen.

  9. Amen (or woman) to loving corn. Cornbread is one of my favorite comfort dishes ever. So naturally, I love the corn crusted fries idea. Awesome.

    Ya know, not to "be that guy", but my posts are looking naked with a Nik comment. They are like the little dog that lost its way, and the only way to get him home is with cute southern laughter :)

    Oh, and how do you have time for ANOTHER job... you're crazy :)

  10. I'm saying Amen to these fries as well with their crispy coating. What a novel idea:D I also love Simplyummy's menu..I'll have the chilled cucumber and avocado soup with Cheddar biscuit and black bean cakes with Juana's salsa:D Please and thank you:D

  11. Ooooh, What a great job, Congrats!
    Your fries and steak pizzaiola look sooooo good!

  12. Courtney: I hope it's a lot of fun. I can't believe I snagged such an awesome gig. I like to use triple sec in meaty things, for some reason. I don't know why.

    Kat: Thanks! It seemed like a natural fit.

    Teresa: To be honest, I'm at home a lot during the day, that's why I decided I needed another job. I love my blog, but I can't be famous sitting around this place! We'll have to see about the cooking. I'm not sure when any of that will get done.

    Joelen: Thank you! They're all crunchy and peppery and flavorful.

    Heather: Thanks, girl. I thought so too.

    Emiline: That would be awesome if you made these. I start the new job on Monday. It'll be a whole lot of biscuits, galettes, muffins, cupcakes, and apparently...frittatas.

    Jenn: I can't wait to tell them!

    Rachel: Yeah, because I have 2 bags just hanging out in the cabinet. Apparently, I use cornmeal a lot.

    Adam: Aw, man! Why'd you have to call me out?? LOL I've been busy the past two weeks and I haven't been anywhere consistently. But don't worry...wild horses couldn't keep me away.

    Like I said, I have lots of time during the day and I need to keep busy so I won't drive anybody crazy. oh, and by anybody, I mean myself.

    Val: You got it, Val! Just as soon as I find out who Juana is lol

    Proud: Thank you! I appreciate you coming by to see me!

  13. I'm going to have to give those fries a try!

  14. Congrats on the new job. Sounds interesting and you'll have to let us know how it goes.

  15. Congratulations on the new job!

    I've tried cornmeal crusted fries. Actually - never heard of them either. But, they look really good.

  16. D: These are right up your alley.

    The mrs: Thank you! It will probably take over my life, so I will lol

    psychgrad: Thaaanks. Oh, they taste great, too. I feel like I invented something lol

  17. Those fries look GREAT! Congrats on the new job.

    On the menu tonight for my Eagles game: Mac & Cheese and, now thanks to you, I'm gonna add some corn to it and some Creole Seasoning :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Lys: I am so mad at our boys right now. :( Well, they played their behinds off, though. They didn't look like they were orchestrating a prep school game. That's the only thing I wasn't disappointed in last Sunday.


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