If you've been to New York City, chances are good you've treated yourself to a bagel with cream cheese, lox, and capers. It's a classic brunch combination—one that James Beard-award winning chef Patrick Connolly takes a step further at his restaurant Rider in Brooklyn, New York. Instead of placing these old school fixings on a plain old bagel, Connolly puts them on piping hot French fries. And in much the same way that a bagel's toppings are only as good as the bagel itself, this lox creation is nothing without Connolly's impeccably crispy fries. They're perfectly browned on the outside, soft on the inside, and—in a true feat of culinary architecture—can hold up to a slice of smoked salmon and dollop of cream cheese without getting soggy.
These fries do take a bit of work to get right. Chef Connolly takes two days to fully prep the potatoes, frying them in canola oil twice to make sure they come out extra crispy. He first cooks the fries in lower temperature oil to make sure they're fully tender, a process called blanching. Then, after the blanched potatoes are chilled overnight, chef Connolly fries them in higher heat to get that crispy, crunchy brown exterior.
If you're making these lox fries for brunch at home, you'll have start prepping your potatoes two nights before as well. That's why chef Connolly writes, "Feel free to substitute any fry or breakfast potato recipe for the above if short on time." But making the fries from scratch is totally worth it—and once you have these lox fries, you'll wonder why you have to settle for a plain old bagel with lox ever again.
Rider's Lox Fries
Photo by Maxine Builder
6 medium Idaho potatoes
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup cream cheese
⅓ cup milk
1/4 cup capers
2 tablespoons red onion, diced small
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch dill
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces lox, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Make the French fries. Spread a ¼-inch layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet.
Wash the potatoes, place on salted baking sheet, and bake at 400ºF for one hour.
Out of the oven, split the potatoes in half, and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
Once fully chilled, cut each potato half into 4 wedges.
Heat canola oil to 225ºF, and blanch the potatoes for 5 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet, then freeze overnight.
To finish the fries, heat canola oil to 350ºF and fry frozen wedges until golden brown. You can use the same oil in which you blanched the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and place on a platter.
Make the cream cheese. In a mixer, combine cream cheese and milk. Whip well. For best results, transfer cream cheese into piping bag.
Make the salmoriglio. In a blender, combine 1 cup dill leaves, 1 cup parsley leaves, 2 garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt. Purée, adding extra virgin olive oil until the herb purée is smooth and as thick as possible. To finish, add lemon juice to taste, and mix well. (Chef prefers it on the acidic side.)
Make the capers. Combine capers, 1 minced clove of garlic, red onion, lemon zest, orange zest, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and a bit of olive oil.
Throw this mixture in a hot pan, and toss it around a couple times, until it's hot. Feel free to crisp the capers up a bit.
Assemble the platter. Pipe small dollops of cream cheese onto the hot fries using the piping bag. Then, drape the salmon over the cream cheese and fries. Drizzle the salmoriglio onto the lox, cream cheese, and fries. Spoon hot capers on to the dish, and garnish with dill sprigs.