Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mom's Diner: Chili Cheese Fries

Sadly, my mom did not acquire a Bob's Big Boy suit for me to take proper pictures. Sigh, I thought she loved me.
I recently took a road trip back home to Louisiana to see my parents and some friends. Naturally, a team-up with the first person whose cooking I ever enjoyed was in order, putting an interesting spin on my usual hibernation pattern of eating lots and sleeping for 12 hours at a time that usually occurs when back home. My mom was anxious to show off her new diner themed kitchen (and to finally cook with me where I'm actually contributing instead of sitting there and snacking). Since, like me, my mother doesn't understand self-control (there's probably something about an apple pie and a tree to be said about that), four amazing calorie-filled dishes were born. Chili Cheese Fries, Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches, Apple Pie and Cajun Eggs Benedict helped my mom assert that if she brought me into this world, she could sure as hell take me out of it with heart disease.
My parents enjoy their new diner kitchen (and the alcohol in those mimosas). 
Chili Cheese Fries
Adapted from Rachel Ray
Servings: 4
Time: 45 minutes

Add caption
4 large Idaho potatoes, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
2 tbsp grill seasoning
2 tbsp plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 1/2 lbs lean ground sirloin
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Butter would become a theme of the weekend
1 can Rotel tomato sauce
1 can regular Rotel (with diced tomatoes and green chilies)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle dark beer (we used Abita Amber)

Cheese Sauce
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

After quite some time, we finally had chili with the proper thickness.

Cheese sauce: nuff said
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Place the potato wedges on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. Bake in the oven until crispy golden brown (approximately 40 minutes), turning once halfway through.
  4. While waiting for the fries, start your chili by heating 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add the ground sirloin and cook until browned. Make sure you break the meat into small pieces.
  5. Push the meat to the side and add the onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Sauté until the onion and garlic softens (about 6 minutes) then season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in the tomato sauce and Rotel. Continue cooking for about a minute or until a sweet smell and slight carmelization occur. 
  7. Pour in the beer and Worcestershire sauce and let simmer until well thickened.
  8. Melt the butter in a separate pot. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for a minute. 
  9. Mix in the mustard. Then whisk in the milk and stock until thickened. 
  10. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cheese.
  11. Top your fries with the chili and cheese sauce and enjoy.
You can practically see the calories.
First, I'd like to point out (as my mother did so many times) that the fries are actually baked, so they're not that bad for you (also, since the cheese is in sauce form, the same surely applies). This was quintessential diner food at its best. The fries had a nice crispness to them that was perfectly complimented by the hearty chili and gooey cheese sauce for some unbelievable salty goodness. The chili was so good that it would've worked fine on its own, but the slight hint of mustard from the cheese sauce really brought things to another level. This messy dish had us off to a nearly flawless start, but the best was yet to come. Stay tuned for more whacky adventures at Mom's diner (think the Pumpkin and Honey Bunny scene from Pulp Fiction).

No comments:

Post a Comment