I don't know about you guys, but the cold makes me crave mega junk food. To be fair, I also eat like total crap in the summer, but I feel like I need to in the winter. Maybe it's my subconscious putting on weight for hibernation. Or maybe it's my actual conscious not caring because I can totally wear giant sweaters and leggings for months (or as I like to call it, work pajamas). Either way, it's easy to get caught in the trap of it's cold outside and I don't have to talk to anyone, so I'm just going to eat my giant plate of "insert terrible for you but super delicious food here". and be cold.
However, what usually ends up happening is sometime around March, I realize that my actual pants don't fit, and something must be done. So, this year, I'm trying to make some of my favorite bar snacks a little bit lighter, because God knows I'm not giving them up.
Enter these homemade chili cheese fries. By making them at home, you can control what goes in them, bake the potatoes instead of fat frying them, and make a reasonable portion. Because I don't know about you, but my general idea of a "serving size" is the amount on my plate; in a restaurant, this is always way WAY more than any one person should eat in one sitting. Or in one week.
Healthier Chili Cheese Fries:
Salt and Pepper
Leftover Chili (might I recommend this quinoa chili)
Pre-heat the oven to 400.
Slice the potatoes into fry like shapes - you can make them as thin or as fat as you'd like, this is your show. I didn't peel them, because I like the peels, but feel free to do so. I used red potatoes, because that's what I had, but any kind will do. Sweet potatoes would probably be amazing as well. I'll have to try that sometime.
Toss the potatoes with some olive oil and the spices. You can also add other spices that you like.
Spread the potatoes on a cooling rack that is balanced on top of a baking sheet. This makes it SO much easier, because you don't have to flip them, they will cook on both sides because there is space underneath them. Roast them for 25 minutes or so, until they reach your desired amount of crispy.
While the potatoes are roasting, heat up the chili, shred the cheese, and slice the scallions. Feel free to add whatever other toppings you enjoy; I kept it simple because I was hungry and I didn't really have anything else to add anyways (grocery shopping needs to happen). If you're feeling ambitious, you can make a cheese sauce, which is how the best chili fries in JP come (they're at Costello's if you're local).
Remove the delicious, crispy fries from the oven.
Dump all the magical toppings onto the potatoes and serve.
Guys, these were awesome. Seriously awesome. And you don't feel all greasy and blob like after eating them, which is a total bonus. You could definitely make a giant platter of them for a party, or you could do a toppings bar, so that everyone can choose their own adventure. The choice is yours and yours alone, good luck (name that 90's tv show).
Question of the Day:
What is your favorite bar snack?