Homebrewer’s Table: Hand Cut Feta Fries with Oregano, Paired with German Pils

Recipe submitted by Milena and Chris Perrine, CraftBeering.com. Introduction and beer pairing written by Millie Shamburger, American Homebrewers Association.

Any recipe starring cheese and potatoes deserves to be highlighted, if not exalted. It really doesn’t matter how you dice it (pun intended), hand cut fries offer far more flavor and crunch than those frozen shoestring or crinkle-cut monsters. Milena and Chris Perrine of the food and beer blog CraftBeering.com tend to agree.

The Perrines take your classic potato (Kennebec, Yukons, Russets), smother them in sheep’s milk feta, and top with a little bit of fresh oregano. If you haven’t worked with fresh herbs before, you don’t want to skip out on these and resort to dried herbs. The flavor of the fresh oregano brings out the salty, briny notes of the cheese while pairing particularly well with a cool German Pilsner. Check out the original recipe on CraftBeering.com.

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled
  • 4 oz. (113 g) feta cheese (from sheep’s milk, in brine preferred)
  • 4 cups (950 mL) olive oil for frying (oil can be saved for second use)
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) vinegar
  • 5–6 fresh oregano sprigs
  • salt, to taste

Directions

  • Step 1: Cut the potatoes into uniformly sized sticks.
  • Step 2: Fill a medium-sized bowl with water, add the vinegar, and place the cut potatoes inside to prevent them from browning. Refrigerate the bowl for a couple of hours.
  • Step 3: When ready to fry, heat the olive oil in a deep pot with a heavy bottom to 375°F (190°C).
  • Step 4: In the meantime, discard the water and pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.
  • Step 5: Fry a small batch at a time, avoiding overcrowding the pot. When the fries begin to turn golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place onto paper napkins.
  • Step 6: Fry once more, again in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes until perfectly crispy.
  • Step 7: After removing the fries from the oil the second time around, lightly season with salt.
  • Step 8: Serve immediately with grated (or crumbled) feta cheese on top (be generous) and finely chopped fresh oregano.

Beer Pairing Suggestion

Try pairing these cheese-soaked fries with a classic German Pilsner like the Propensity Pilsener Lager. The herbal aromas of the oregano will elevate the floral character of the German hops in the Pils, while the high carbonation of this style complements the luscious fried potatoes. The addition of the honey in this recipe makes the savory components of the dish all the richer, and the dry finish will leave you drooling for more of that creamy feta!

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Milena and Chris Perrine share a love for craft beer and good food, take beer-cations, homebrew tasty styles, and generally enjoy doing things centered around craft beer. Follow along their beer and food journeys on CraftBeering.com.

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