Chili cheese fries are one of my absolute favorite foods. They are a great thing to make at home because they are less greasy than the diner/bar versions, so they can be eaten for dinner.
Yesterday I made a turkey chili in the slow-cooker (similar to this chili recipe but with ground turkey). I used frozen french fries baked in the toaster oven (but you could also make these crispy oven fries), then topped them with chili, white cheddar, and green onions. I might have to try the same thing with baked sweet potato fries!
The secret to this potato salad is the potatoes roasted in bacon fat (obs). They are crispy and golden on the outside, and the tangy apple cider vinaigrette cuts the fattiness of the potatoes. Make this for your next barbeque, it will be a hit!
Bacon Fat-Roasted Potato Salad with Corn and Jalapeño
1 1/2 lbs small Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
6 slices bacon, diced
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
3 green onions, diced
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
First, brown the bacon over medium heat in a skillet. When the bacon is crisp, remove it from the skillet with a slotted spatula and drain on paper towels, but save the rendered fat.
Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray, then arrange the potatoes in a single layer. From the skillet you used to cook the bacon, take 1-2 T of bacon fat and toss the potatoes in it. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
While the potatoes are roasting, make the vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork.
When the potatoes are cooked, combine them in a large bowl with the green onions, corn, bacon, and jalapeño. Add the vinaigrette and stir. Taste the salad and make sure it is seasoned appropriately; I had to add a little bit more apple cider vinegar at this point.
The problem with baking french fries is that they never get crispy enough. When I saw Melissa d’Arabian make them on her show, she added a little bit of sugar to help them brown. I also pre-soaked the fries in ice water to remove some of the extra starch. The end result was crispy and quite delicious.
Crispy Oven Fries
(Adapted from Melissa d’Arabian)
2 russet potatoes, sliced into french fry shapes
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar
Place the potatoes into a large bowl, then cover with ice water. Allow to soak for 2 hours. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
Toss the potatoes with oil, salt, sugar, cayenne, and chili powder. Spread into a single layer on the baking sheet, then bake for approximately 40 minutes or until crisp, turning them over after 25 minutes.