Smoked Paprika Garlic and Parmesan Oven Fries

One of my favourite things to do is to draw inspiration from great dishes that I have had in restaurants. Sometimes I attempt a  full reproduction and sometimes I just steal an idea or two (like adding steak spice to the rim of my Caesars, a la Lucille’s). This one falls into the latter category. I love the fries at Joe Beef, where the main seasoning comes from garlic butter and parmesan. I’m also a big fan of smoked paprika on my fries (and on a lot of other things). You see where I’m going with this? The last time I was in the mood to make some fries at home inspiration struck and I decided to throw all of these flavours together.

There is clearly no shortage of recipes for oven fries out there, but these ones just turned out too well, so I had to share.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Smoked Paprika Garlic and Parmesan Oven Fries
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe for savoury oven fries seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic and parmesan.
Serves: 2

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • garlic powder
  • smoked spanish paprika (hot)
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan (reggiano, of course)
  • dried parsley flakes

  1. Cut the potatoes into strips
  2. Rinse the cut potatoes in cold water twice and then let them soak for 30 minutes
  3. Dry the potatoes thoroughly with a paper towel
  4. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and coat in a lot of olive oil (about 2 tbsp)
  5. Season aggressively with kosher salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika in that order (don’t be shy, these are supposed to be flavourful fries)
  6. Place potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  7. Bake at 390 degrees (I used the convection roast setting on my oven) for about 30 minutes, turning once, until golden
  8. Toss the hot fries in the oil remaining in the large bowl you used to season them before baking
  9. Add about 2 tbsp of grated parmesan and toss some more
  10. Put the fries on a plate and top them with the remaining grated parmesan and some dried parsley
  11. Enjoy!

The Result

These were the best oven baked fries that I have ever had at home. You’re never going to get the same crisp you get from deep frying, but these things has great texture – a little crispy on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside (soaking them in water to remove some of the starch is key if you want this result). More importantly, they were absolutely packed with flavour; a little smoky, a little spicy, a little garlicky and plenty salty. If you’re feeling particularly gluttonous, use your fries to sop up the seasoned oil that is left in your bowl. Delicious.

Savoury oven fries seasoned with garlic, smoked paprika and parmesan.
Savoury oven fries seasoned with garlic, smoked paprika and parmesan.

Closeup of the savoury goodness.
Closeup of the savoury goodness.
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I’ll be back at it soon…

It has been over three months since my last post! Damn, I knew it had been a while, didn’t realize it was that long though. Work, wedding planning and general laziness have taken over lately; but rest assured,  I have still been eating well. I’ve got a mental back log of pics, recipes and a few new restaurant experiences that I need to get on here.

I’ll be back at it soon…

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Lobster Pasta with Saffron Cream Sauce

It’s been a while since my last post. But rest assured that I have been eating well. Today’s post is a dish inspired by the famous lobster spaghetti at one of my favourite restaurants, Joe Beef. Truth be told, I didn’t love the dish when I had it there (the price definitely had something to do with that, maybe also the fact that I’m not really a fan of spaghetti) but I did love the idea. Pasta, lobster meat and cream sauce, how can you go wrong? So I looked up a few recipes online, made a few tweaks and came up with my version. Full disclosure: it’s pretty close to the Joe Beef recipe, which I found here.

I’m trying out a new format for the recipe here, let’s see how it goes…

5.0 from 1 reviews

Lobster Pasta with Saffron Cream Sauce
Lobster pasta in a rich garlic cream sauce, infused with a hint of saffron.
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 2

  • meat of 2 lobsters, chopped into rough chunks
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 500 ml of heavy cooking cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 chives, finely chopped
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsps brandy
  • Pasta for two (I used tagliatelle)

  1. Cook the bacon and then chop it into small bits. Set it aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat and add the chopped garlic. Sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add the cream, chives, saffron, brandy and lobster shells and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Taste frequently and season with salt and pepper during this stage.
  4. Remove the lobster shells. Again check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Add the chopped lobster meat and chopped bacon to the sauce and heat it just long enough to warm up the lobster meat, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add cooked pasta with a tablespoon or two of pasta water (add more if the sauce is too thick), toss the pasta in the pan to fully coat it.
  7. Serve a nest of pasta topped with the chunks of lobster meat.

Suggested wine pairing: Buttery chardonnay all the way. A bottle of Château St-Jean Chardonnay from California was perfect.

The Result

This dish has a lot of cream and a lot of lobster, how could it not be good? Lobster meat is lobster meat, so as long as you’re dealing with fresh lobster you know that’s going to be good. Same goes for the bacon bits. And the saffron and brandy make a basic garlic cream sauce that much more tasty. Really simple and really delicious.

Lobster Pasta in a Saffron Cream Sauce
Lobster Pasta in a Saffron Cream Sauce

More pics:



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Colville Bay Oysters – Da Best!

We eat a lot of oysters at home. Like most food items in my life, I usually get my oysters at Atwater Market. Recently (or maybe I only noticed recently), they have started carrying Colville Bay oysters. The first time I tried one was during a particularly raucous dinner at Joe Beef, and I was immediately hooked. Since that time they have been my go to oyster, so I thought I’d share a couple of words.

Colville Bay oysters are grown in Colville Bay, Prince Edward Island and harvested by the aptly named Colville Bay Oyster Company, a family owned company. What’s so good about them? In a couple of words – plump, firm, a bit sweet, briny but not too salty and just really clean. If you’ve never had that clean fresh taste of the sea experience that oyster lovers always rave about then get your hands on a Colville Bay and you’ll see what all the fuss is about. I absolutely love the taste of these things. The quality control also seems to be top notch, I can’t remember ever getting a “dud”. And if that’s not enough, they’re not bad to look at (as far as oysters go), with their distinctive tear drop shaped  jade / emerald coloured shells. In doing a bit of research I’ve discovered that these oysters have something of a cult following. Given that I’m dedicating a post to them, it looks like I might be ready to join that cult.

Next time you’re picking up oysters at your fish market or ordering in a restaurant keep an eye out for Colville Bays. They’re the best.

The quintessential Colville Bay oyster, with a beautiful jade coloured teardrop shaped shell.


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Perfect Pupusas at La Carreta

Pupusas are one of my new “things”. I discovered them this summer and immediately became a fan. A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish composed of a fried corn tortilla stuffed with one or more of the following fillings: cheese, pork, chicken, beans or loroco. They come served with curtido (a coleslaw like concoction) and a thin tomato salsa; spicy sauce is optional. Last Saturday my fiancée and I stopped in for a quick pupusa lunch at La Carreta, a Salvadoran restaurant on Saint Zotique and one of many in the area. This was our second visit.  Continue reading

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Braised Spiced Lamb Shanks w/ Sauteed Peaches

Braising meat is so easy. As much as I love cooking a perfect medium rare steak, it can be stressful – one minute too much or too little can have a real impact on the finished product. When you’re braising for hours there is no such concern, it’s practically fool proof. And with such a long cooking process, there’s plenty of time for flavours to develop. One of the best braised meats I can think of are lamb shanks. Who doesn’t love fall off the bone tender chunks of well seasoned lamb? I came up with this recipe as I do most, by throwing together a few ingredients that I thought would work well together, seasoning with care and paying attention to the details. Continue reading

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Tuck Shop

It has been a while since my last post, but worry not, I’ve been up to some good eating lately; both at home and out. A few weeks ago I finally made my way to a restaurant that had been on my list for a while now – Tuck Shop. It’s the kind of place (seasonal market cuisine w/ a short menu) that just seemed like it would be right up my alley, so I went in with high expectations. Continue reading

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Homemade Pappardelle with ‘Nduja and Braised Rabbit

Last week I was on vacation with plenty of time on my hands and in the mood to make a serious meal on a Thursday evening. Something that would take a bit more time and effort than usual. I had a few ideas in mind – 1) make homemade pasta, 2) top it with something braised and 3) make use of ‘nduja (the spicy Calabrese sausage introduced to me a while back by a chef friend of mine). Thus was born this homemade pappardelle with ‘nduja and braised rabbit. Continue reading

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C Thai

I feel like I am always looking for good Pad Thai in Montreal (often without success). So, when on a recent rainy Saturday my girlfriend randomly suggested C Thai (she was looking for a BYOW in Little Italy for another purpose when she stumbled onto it) and my diligence turned up this review from Shut Up and Eat proclaiming C Thai’s rendition of the famous noodle dish as the best Pad Thai in Montreal, I was intrigued. Continue reading

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Seared Scallops with Strawberry Basil Salsa

Seared scallops are really simple to prepare (despite what Hell’s Kitchen would have us believe) and really delicious. Anyone who has read this blog knows I’m all about simple and delicious, so these are right up my alley. There are so many recipes out there for basic seared scallops, so for a little value add I’ve included a (you guessed it, simple) recipe for a strawberry basil salsa that you can use to take them up a notch. This is a dish that can be prepared in about 10 minutes and is sure to impress. Continue reading

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