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Fries

Why do we make the foods we do?

French Fries

I often joke that the reason I bought this food truck was so I could have proper fries, sadly , that’s actually pretty much true! When I lived in Philadelphia I worked at a restaurant that made the best fries and best (second best now) sambal aioli. The first time I ordered fries in Page I was so excited, they had “fry sauce”, while some may like “fry sauce”, I was made very aware that I wasn’t in Philly anymore. So I begged and pleaded with my former chef for his recipe, no luck, so I went to Philly and ate as much aioli as I had too, until I found my recipe.

Why Kennebec potatoes? Back in Philly we used Yukon golds, however in Page they didn’t fry right, maybe its the altitude, lack of humidity, I don’t know. Next we tried russets, the traditional French fry potato, but to me, they lack flavor, sure they fry great, but they have no taste. That led us to our tried and true Kennebec potato fries. Sweet, crispy and with just the right amount of starch.  I was so excited the first time I pulled out a batch of twice fried Kennebec potatoes, I had finally found the solution to limp, or flavorless fries! It wasn’t the oil, the temperature of the oil, how long I blanched them, it was the potato I was using!

Why twice fry? Every good fry is actually twice fried. Even store bought frozen fries have already been par cooked for you. The first fry is a longer fry, at a lower temperature, 275-325 for 7 minutes, we pull them out when they begin to look like “carnival” fries. They are pale in color, limp, but no crunch, they feel boiled more than fried. We do this to cook them all  the way through and to remove the water from the potato. We continue “drying” the potato in the refrigerator, usually over night. Our second fry is at 375-400 degrees for 2 minutes, when you pull them out they sing or whistle and sound like a snare drum hitting our tossing bowl. This fry heats the potato all the way through and gives it the beautiful golden color and crispness that you look for in a good French fry.

Of course French fries are not a health food, however we use only sea salt to season our fries, allowing us to have the desired salty flavor using less salt and thus less sodium.

Additionally, one of my proudest moments was when someone from the local weight watchers said “at our meeting today, someone said “your fries are worth the points!” A great thing to hear, but also something that made me think about my ingredients in a different light. Of course, bacon smothered potatoes fried in duck fat with a foie gras dipping sauce would be awesome, but its not something I should eat everyday, but would. So we started looking at areas to cut out fats and calories. We even found a way to make our aioli lower in fats and calories while not losing any of the flavors. Its amazing what lemon juice and extra garlic can achieve. Note, fresh ingredients not salt, salt is a typical way, and unhealthy way, many people lower fat with out killing flavor, not us.

Parmesan Truffle Fries; I assumed everyone has eaten these, but I had a lot of people tell me they had never heard of truffle oil, some were actually amazed when they saw that parmesan comes in a wheel form not in a green can. I love Parmesan truffle fries, to me they are much less messy to eat than gravy fries, they don’t make people run from me like garlic fries and best of all they don’t ruin the texture of my fries.

Philly Cheesesteaks

When we first visited Page there was a Philly Cheesesteak place in the center of town, it was closed but I assumed that was because it was winter. Not the case. My wife and I lived in Page for many years, craving a proper cheesesteak. We would go to Philly, but not often enough. We bought “steak-ums” but that’s not really meat, much less a cheesesteak! So one of the must haves for our menu was cheesesteaks. While I won’t lie and make you think these are Jim’s steaks, they are the closest thing this far from Philly. Last summer we even shipped amoroso rolls from Philly. Sadly, they didn’t adjust well to the climate in Page.

About our cheesesteak: We use thinly sliced rib eye, American cheese and serve it on a toasted roll. We are happy to serve them “wit or wit out” onions, however, NO PEPPERS! While some people put peppers on cheesesteaks we won’t! Sure some people in Philly add peppers to cheesesteaks, but some people also add ragu or ketchup to pasta, doesn’t mean its ever right! While I’m on the subject, the only time I have ever seen mayo, swiss, lettuce and tomatoes on a cheesesteak was when John Kerry visited Philadelphia. That didn’t end well for him. If you’d like I can usually add those ingredients, but then its a steak sandwich and not a Philly Cheesesteak.

Gyros

I made them because I love to eat them! Actually, when I was talking about starting my food truck, gyros were the one food people in Page asked me to make! These are for you Page!

What makes ours different from the rest. If you look at our recipes, you’ll see our tzatziki’s base is a non fat greek yogurt. In order to give some real flavors to our tzatziki we add a lot of lemon juice, garlic, cucumbers and dill. So while it is a yogurt based sauce, calorie wise, its about 30 calories a serving and no fat!*

*These are my estimates, no studies have been done to show these numbers are accurate. But eat them and enjoy them knowing I am trying my best to make them “healthy”. Our Gyros are also amazing with chicken or even tofu. Thanks to AJ at the Rodeway Inn for ordering them with chicken, very good idea AJ!

Lettuce Wraps

These were in no way something I planned on making on the food truck, however, one night I went to my friend Vin’s house and had them and was so amazed by their flavor and freshness. So after about 2 bites, I thought, 1 I have to make these, and 2 if Vin can make them, then so can I! So I went home and practiced, I made a few mild adjustments, I use pickled Thai chilies rather than fresh, and I don’t use rice. The pickled peppers are a safety thing, when I ate Larb Gai at Vin’s house, each bite was a gamble, maybe you’d burn the hell out of your mouth, maybe you wouldn’t. Since he was using green Thai chilies you didn’t really know if that bite was a lot of mint and basil or Thai chilies. I decided to make it more obvious, if you want the heat you can see the red chilies, if not, push them to the side. Rice is just one of those foods that health inspectors seem to freak out about, so I just chose to leave it out of my recipe.

Thai Chicken Tacos

Starting as soon as the weather gets warm, I make “Mexican Street Tacos” at least once a week. Simply grilled chicken, cilantro, homemade tomatillo salsa, black beans and pickled red onion. However, this past summer I was set up near a locally owned Mexican restaurant, Alfonzo’s, and decided to be neighborly and make something else with the 300 tortillas I had ordered. So while dreaming of cold noodles with sesame sauce I started thinking of how to make them a taco, thus the Thai Chicken Taco was born.

Buffalo Wings

There just isn’t a place in Page to find a proper buffalo wing, sure there’s “wings” but not like the ones I remember from the east coast. So after Colin started working with me, we began working on buffalo wings. We made traditional and some Asian inspired varieties. Now that I am working with Clay, we have improved our wings even more, as one customer said to me recently “they’re the bomb”. Not sure if that’s what we were going for, but sounds about right. Mike had a nice trick of adding freshly ground pepper to our sauce, so good! but guests thought they were too spicy so we moved on to a touch of srirachi. It adds the flavor, with out burning your ears. I honestly love passing them through the window to our guests, the smell is so delicious!