Remember this last Friday, when we talked about the joys of crispy skinny French fries that are skinny in size, not in taste? And how we discussed the fact that taste as great as your favorite restaurant fries, and while time consuming, are shockingly easy? And then we talked about how your kids/hubby/wifey/lover will, well, love you for making them? Well that is what will happen.
But I had to give you at least one variation on those glorious fries. And I say honestly that these were gone in about 2 seconds flat at our house. Lebanese Spiced French Fries. What?! I know. Not the first place you thought I was going to go with these, huh? I know that it sounds exotic and maybe a little intimidating if you are not used to these flavors- but they are easy and familiar on the palate and completely delicious.
Here is the thing, Pete and I have a favorite restaurant in Seattle called Mamnoon, and we are completely obsessing over it. It makes Lebanese food that is so good that sometimes I feel like I could eat there every single day and never get sick of it. There lunch menu is a little more casual, and a few weeks ago Pete and I snuck off for a bite to eat. I noticed a new item, “frites”, and there was NO WAY that I wasn’t ordering them.
This is not the same dish, but heavily influenced. Full disclosure- it’s because I have no idea what some of the spices that they used in there’s was! HOWEVER, these are a close match in spirit!
The defining flavor is the za’tar. If you have never heard of it is a middle wastern spice blend made up of oregano, mint, sesame, sumac and salt. (It is totally amazing and is my favorite in a bowl of olive oil with fresh pita bread.)
There is also chopped fresh cilantro, red chili’s and a tiny bit of lime. When that is all combined with a clove spiced ketchup you are in for an exotic treat that will rock your world. At least it rocked mine….
This is how you make these:
Make the Crispy Skinny French Fries according to the recipe.
When you pull the fries from the hot oil, briefly drain them and then add them to a stainless steel bowl in batches.
Toss them, in the bowl with a generous sprinkle of the za’atar and salt mixture. Repeat until all of the fries are cooked and seasoned.
Toss them with the cilantro and chili and lightly squeeze the lime juice over the top of the fries. Serve hot with the clove ketchup
For the Ketchup:
¼ cup ketchup
¼-½ teaspoon cloves to taste
Stir together the ketchup and cloves until well combined. Start with ¼ teaspoon and increase to ½ teaspoon if a stronger flavor is desired. Serve the ketchup with the fries.
Recipe: Lebanese Spiced French Fries
- 1 recipe Crispy Skinny French Fries
- 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chipped
- 1 large red Fresno chili, thinly sliced
- 1/4 of a fresh lime
- 1 tablespoon za’atar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Make the Crispy Skinny French Fries according to the recipe.
- When you pull the fries from the hot oil, briefly drain them and then add them to a stainless steel bowl in batches. Toss them, in the bowl with a generous sprinkle of the za’atar and salt mixture. Repeat until all of the fries are cooked and seasoned. Toss them with the cilantro and chili and lightly squeeze the lime juice over the top of the fries.
- For the Ketchup:
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼-½ teaspoon cloves to taste
- Stir together the ketchup and cloves until well combined. Start with ¼ teaspoon and increase to ½ teaspoon if a stronger flavor is desired.
- Serve the ketchup with the fries.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
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So much fun stuff on these fries! They look great 🙂
I love the french fry kick you’re on…I wish I was eating these right now! They look SO good!!! pinned
Thank you Averie!
Did you know that as well as the blend, za’atar also refers to various herbs of the oregano family (which give the blend its name), and most commonly to the herb Oreganum syriacum, colloquially known as Biblical hyssop, Lebanese oregano or Syrian oregano? I’m on a (admittedly not very proactive) quest to find some. Perhaps this is one of your missing flavours…
Also, I’m definitely going to sprinkle sumac all over these fries.
Hellyweg- I did not know that! but thank you! I have become so obsessed with that za’atar flavor so quickly, but the only place I could find a blend was from whole foods, and it was definitely less strong than the restaurant blend (which I assume they make there). Maybe of I ask nicely, they will share their secret!
These look amazing, and I LOVE the idea of the clove ketchup— I made my own ketchup a while back and the ingredient list was endless, but the result was worth it!
Thank you Sue! I always love homemade ketchup! But I will certainly settle for doctored up ketchup like this stuff. another good recipe for sweet nd spicy ketchup is here: http://heatherchristo.wpengine.com/cooks/2012/05/24/sweet-onion-and-chili-ketchup/
LOVE these!! Skinny crisp fries and these spices!! YA!!
These look incredible, love the spices! Please keep the fries coming ;).
heehee Laura! thank you! Maybe one more set- but a while give you guys a little fry break 🙂
WOW. Yes please!!!
I gotta try this! Loving the flavor profile on this.
Thank you Naomi- it’s all about the za’atar!
I never thought about using za’atar on French fries. YUM!
Brilliant combo! You are so lucky to have the skills to figure out restaurant recipes. That was my favorite part of Gourmet magazine, where people could write in to see if a restaurant would share a recipe. We always order a plate of fries when we go to Farrell’s ice cream parlor (google that on youtube if you haven’t heard of it. Their antics are hysterical). They are covered in finely chopped fresh garlic and chopped parsley. It sounds weird but is the perfect foil for the ice cream.
Oh Vicki- garlic fries. But the good kind, not the scary kind they sell at the ball park that make me nauseous. I will be doing those FOR SURE!!
Ahh these look so good!! I adore any kind of fries and love this homemade version!
All of your fries recipes THRILL me!!
always glad to make you smile Marla 🙂
This spice mixture sounds so perfect with hot, crispy potato! That clove ketchup sounds really interesting too. I might go for a couple of different sauces–maybe a labneh dipping sauce too?
oooohhhh! I don’t know what Labneh is, but I am totally looking it up!
Those fries look so good!
Ooooh, I love these flavors! I grew up on Middle Eastern food and this fusion with French Fries has me swooning. You’ve got me wanting to pull out my deep fryer right now!
Wow, this looks super tasty!! I’ve never thought to put za’atar on fries. Such a great idea.
Brandon- it is delicious!! try it as soon as you have the chance!
Okay, 1: the photography alone is so lustworthy. 2: these looks ridiculously tasty. Would it be wrong to just eat a bunch of these fries for dinner tonight? Because that’s where I think the evening is headed…
I stumbled upon your recipe while searching for interesting french fries variations.
When you sprinkle Zaatar on anything it definitely amps up the flavor, I am from Beirut, Lebanon, I find your recipe interesting as I have never tasted or seen it here in Lebanon, the restaurant you go to must be really creative with its dishes!
Thanks for visiting Rania!!
Could you tell me the quantities of oregano, mint, sesame, sumac and salt needed to make up the Za`atar please?
Sorry ALan- I always buy mine at whole foods!
Beautiful photograph! Your fries look amazing.
Thank you Lorraine!
While the comments about her favorite restaurant, exotic spices and the recipe itself are lovely, Ms. Christo could use a “grammar check” before posting. The word, “there” refers to a place, as in, “I live there, in that building.” The word “their” refers to ownership or possession, as in, “I ate at their restaurant.”
Just wanted to let you know in the ingredients list for the cilantro you wrote “chipped” instead of “chopped”
Thank you Bob!! i will fix the typo!
I made these tonight using the za’atar that I got while in Abu Dhabi. SO delicious!
Awesome Morocco- I bet your za’atar is so fresh and delicious!