I bet these fries will be your new favorite way to have them! The sumac gives the perfect hint of tangy flavor and special love to these restaurant-style fries. And definitely don’t forget the super easy and flavorful dips either!
I have a feeling that sumac is the next big thing in the world of the food trend. Disclaimer: I have to be honest and say I’m not one for trends, much less food trends. Just try and eat what’s near and fresh, and put together things that sound good to you. I don’t understand the rest and I don’t need it either.
Ok, now that I got that out of my system, let me talk about glorious, glorious sumac. It’s made from dried and pulverized sumac berries and it’s used a lot in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Cuisine. It’s tangy, maroon-colored, and gives a subtle burst of flavor to your food. We throw it onto our chelow kabob and it’s absolutely necessary and delicious.
And I probably have 2 pounds of it in 3 different spots in my kitchen as I type this post. For reals… at least 2 pounds.
So my whole lab went out to this Armenian restaurant for lunch where we all ordered variations of kabobs. I asked for a small side of sumac and when the waiter brought it out, I sprinkled some right onto my food and was swiftly met with weirded out, freaked out, grossed out looks from lab members on my side of the table. Reality check! Clearly, I’m not in California anymore where you simply cannot avoid seeing a million Persians a day and experiencing all the amazing food that comes with them (not to mention their sort of annoying cars too, but that’s not so relevant here, is it?).
Fun fact: One of the reasons I moved out of state for grad school was that I wanted to get out of Persianville and live somewhere completely different to SoCal. Well, I did it and I’m over it.
If I’m walking down an aisle in our grocery store and hear someone talking about which beans to buy in Farsi, I have to be honest—I get a little bit giddy inside. Because this definitely happened the other week.
But you need to understand though, I went from one extreme to the other here! Persians are a rare breed in Illinois, let me tell you! But what I really miss is the appreciation for Persian cuisine, and the abundance of amazing Persian food finds back in SoCal.
And in Chicago, there aren’t very many options for Persian food and so I can’t blame my labmates for being shocked when I sprinkled on a weird-looking maroon powder all over my nice, fresh plate of food.
Obviously, I made them try some of the sumac on their own food and then before I knew it, my sumac was at the other end of the table and I could forget about getting it back.
That was just a few months ago but I suspect that soon enough everyone will have some of this crazy good stuff stored in their pantries.
And that brings me to today’s recipe!
I love sprinkling some sumac on my hot fries because it balances the salty flavor of the fries so well. It’s gives a similar effect as putting some malt vinegar on your fries, only it’s even more subtle than that. It’s the lemony, tangy flavor of the sumac that just makes these fries the best fries of my life! And do I even need to mention the antioxidant power involved here? I mean look at that color!
Also, as if this wasn’t flavor-overload enough for you, I’ve got 2 different french fry dips for you to try.
2—Sour Cream and Garlic Chive.
As annoying as it is, and I hate it so much when people do this, but I really feel like I just need to drop the mic that I don’t have right now.
Nevermind, I take that back. I have decided that I hate it when I do it too.
By the way, they’re SO easy and quick to make so don’t bother with the tired ketchup or mayo thing anymore. Wait, is there really a mayo thing? Like plain mayo for dip? I’m hoping I just made that up but I have a feeling I so did not just make that up. Please no though!
Unless you’re content in the whole eating-mayo-straight-like-it’s-yogurt thing, you need to try this.
Seriously—it’s completely scrumptious and addicting!
And he could hardly wait until I was done shooting. Poor guy, it was probably 11 PM—eating while falling asleep may be hazardous. But no one said being a food-blogger was my first job, so here’s the result.
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Sumac French Fries with Umami Ketchup and Sour Cream & Garlic Chive Dips
For the Sumac Fries:
- 3 Russet Potatoes rinsed and peeled
- Enough ghee or beef tallow for frying - see instructions
- 2 teaspoons Sumac or to taste
- Sea Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Parsley chopped
For the Umami Ketchup Dip:
- ⅓ cup Ketchup
- 1 tablespoon BBQ Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce naturally-brewed
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes or to taste
For the Sour Cream and Garlic Chive Dip:
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives chopped
- A pinch of Sea Salt
- A pinch of Black Pepper
For the Sumac Fries:
- Over medium heat, heat a large, heavy pot with about 3 inches-deep of ghee/beef tallow in it.
- Cut potatoes into matchsticks/fry shape.
- Then place the top of a wooden spoon into the oil and check if it has bubbles forming around it. The bubbles are a sign of good and ready hot oil for your fries.
- Carefully, add in your potatoes and use a spatula to separate them.
- After a minute, when they’re barely cooked, remove them using a large, slotted spoon and put them on paper towel-lined plate.
- Let stand until they’ve just about reached room temperature and then add them back into the fryer and allow them to cook until they’ve turned completely golden and crispy (approximately 4 minutes).
- Remove them onto a freshly paper towel-lined plate and right away add salt, sumac, and parsley. Serve with dipping sauces and enjoy!
For the Dipping Sauces:
- Mix ingredients together for each dip and serve with fries.