Spice-Rubbed Steak with Quick Garlic Fries


This variation on steak frites spices up the steak and gives a garlic boost to frozen fries. You can use any packaged spice-rub mix for beef, but we use a combination of equal parts cumin and coriander, half that amount of salt and pepper, and one eighth that amount of clove. If your rub doesn't contain salt, you'll need to add some, to taste. This take on a classic meal is easy, but you will be searing the steak and frying the potatoes at the same time.

Ingredients

  • About 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 (1 1/4-inch-thick) boneless top loin (New York strip) steaks (about 1 lb each)
  • 3 1/8 teaspoons spice rub for beef
  • 1 (1-lb) package frozen french fries
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt (to taste) for fries
  • Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer

Preparation

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Heat 1 inch oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over high heat until it registers 375°F on thermometer. While oil heats, pat steaks dry, then rub all over with spice rub (and salt if necessary). Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear steaks, turning over once with tongs, until well browned, about 5 minutes total. Transfer skillet to oven and roast 10 minutes for medium-rare. Check oil while searing steaks, and when it registers 375°F, begin frying french fries in 2 batches (add fries carefully; they may have ice crystals, which could cause spattering), stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Transfer fries with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper while hot. Return oil to 375°F between batches. Turn off heat under pot, then add garlic and fry until pale golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute, and transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels. Toss fries with garlic and salt in a large bowl.  Top with grated parmesan cheese. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Slice steak and serve with fries.

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