by Judy Kim
Yield: 4 Servings
As Benjamin Franklin once wrote "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Same can be said that while living and cooking steak in a New York City apartment nothing is more inevitable than the fire alarm going off more times than I can handle and that I WILL swear like a drunken sailor every time. In my apartment the fire detector is hardwired into the building and there is no hope of turning it off. A common yet decidedly unsafe method is to remove the battery while cooking. I no longer have that option and therefore keep a small step ladder nearby at all times. Sad but true. Fortunately a good steak is worth it in the end. I try to save the task for cooking steak outdoors on the roof BBQ. But writing this recipe for Delish requires a stove top method, so bring on the fire alarms!
I used to think that classic restaurant fare like this couldn't easily be duplicated at home. I was pleasantly surprised it took less time than I thought. I suppose if you want a shortcut, you could do a single fry vs. a double fry method. Just know you're short cutting taste and texture. This method yields a crispier french fry. So my vote is DOUBLE FRY!
Peanut oil for frying
2 pounds russet potatoes, about 3 large potatoes
4 (8 ounce) New York strip steaks, about 1-inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Flaky sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Pour enough oil into deep fryer or about 4-inches up the sides of a deep pot. Heat oil to 325°F. Clean and dry potatoes; leaving skin on, cut potatoes into 1/4-inch wide sticks. Rinse several times in ice cold water until water runs clear, this will remove the starches. Dry potatoes thoroughly in a clean kitchen towel. Note: If time permits, soak the potatoes in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. You will achieve a crisper french fry.
When the oil has reached temperature, fry the potatoes in about 4 batches for 2 minutes. The color will be slightly translucent and barely browned. This ensures the potatoes are cooked through. Drain with a slotted spoon on a plate lined with paper towels. Return temperature to 325°F before frying each batch. Drain last batch of fries and set aside. Note: These can be fried hours in advance. But fry final batch just before serving. The second fry will make them extra crispy.
Preheat large cast iron pan over high temperature. Rinse and pat dry steaks with a paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper. When cast iron pan is very hot but not smoking, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan and 1 tablespoon butter. Place 2 steaks in pan and cook 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until desired temperature. Transfer steaks to a plate and loosely cover with foil to rest. Repeat steps for remaining steaks adding more olive oil and butter if necessary. Transfer last 2 steaks to plate with foil to rest.
Meanwhile, heat oil to 350°F. Add potatoes in several batches depending on the size of your pot; fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Drain on fresh paper towels and sprinkle with Flaky sea salt immediately after each batch. The salt will stick to the oil on the fries.
Serve steak frites with sprinkle of sea salt and garnish with fresh parsley.