Loaded Fries Recipe
Well, that’s it, we are into the final week of term, schools permitting, and it’s nearly time to celebrate six weeks off school. Or if you don’t have children, get ready to celebrate six weeks of quiet roads with no school run traffic, hooray. Six weeks off school spells six weeks of a) your house being treated like a hotel b) your kitchen being open 24 hours a day and c) your fridge looking as if a plague of locusts have passed through. Not only will I be bankrupt from the constant feeding, trampolining, swimming, rowing, pancakes and ice cream parlour trips, I will be sick to death of either cooking meals or providing the wherewithal for the boys to prepare their own bloody meals. So here’s where today’s post comes into play. My Loaded Fries are a genius way of getting your children to prepare their own lunch and there’s enough to feed quite a crowd, or just two super hungry boys.
This Loaded Fries post contains my fantastic *modest face* oven chips recipe. I do occasionally treat the boys to frozen chips, but they’re full of crap and not great value for money given the fact they will eat a whole bag in one sitting. But most of the time, I make them oven chips from scratch as they are super easy and 9 times out of 10, I have a bag of spuds lurking in the fridge. The key with these chips is to oil the baking tray well, cut the potatoes into even chip-like shapes and to leave them untouched during their time in your hot oven. If all these super simple steps are adhered to, you are then rewarded with crisp chips with soft insides and a wonderful flavour. You can then load these buggers however you, or your diners, like. I have suggested three ways, most of which were conjured up by Ben, by far the hungriest 18 year old of all time. Nacho, Bacon, Cheese and Ranch or Pizza Fries were his favourites and they couldn’t be simpler. Just slather on cheese, jalapeños, guacamole, salsa and sour cream or crispy bacon, cheese and Ranch style dressing or finally pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara sauce for the pizza ones. Try all of these or some of them, or let your family choose their own toppings or just eat the chips straight out of the oven with extra sea salt and some bread and butter.
These Loaded Fries are a brilliant start to the hols and all the fun that goes with them. And by fun, I am lying and trying to be optimistic at this early stage in the game. Chin up, hopefully a mouthful of these Loaded Fries will head your way if you can wrestle them out of the teens hands.
Well not a terribly auspicious start to this recipe, just spuds and some seasoning. But bear with, it gets more interesting as the post goes on. The exciting add ons come later, but for now make a start on your chips.
Pre heat your oven to a warm 190 degrees fan assisted and take two large baking trays. Add a liberal spraying of olive oil to the trays then chop your potatoes into chip shapes. I didn’t bother peeling mine because a) I am lazy and b) there’s meant to be vitamin C in the skins, so am just thinking of you really. Pop the chips onto your oiled tray.
I love my new crinkle cut chip knife, bought for under a fiver from Amazon.
Give the chips another good spray or drizzle with olive oil. Think spritz rather than drowning here. Season super generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper then place your trays of chips into the hot pre heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
The key to super crisp, golden chips is to leave them alone during the cooking period. If need be, change the trays position in the oven so they cook evenly, but don’t think about turning them, as they may just fall to pieces.
If you don’t meddle with them, they will look like these crisp little beauties.
While these are cooking prepare your toppings. Fry off your pancetta or chopped bacon in a hot frying pan until crisp.
Grate or slice your cheese, chop your herbs for garnish and prepare your sauces. Then once the chips are cooked, divide them up into grill proof dishes and pre heat your grill to medium high.
Here are the ingredients I used for my Nacho Loaded Fries.
For these I sprinkled the fries with grated cheese and chopped jalapeño peppers then put them under the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese was melty and bubbling. Then, dot on the salsa, guacamole and sour cream and a final garnish of coriander or micro herbs. Mouthwatering.
For the Cheese, Bacon and Ranch Fries, here are my stylish ingredients. Spot who bought their industrial sized Ranch dressing from Costco.
Once again, cover your fries with grated cheese then sprinkle on the crisped bacon or pancetta pieces. Add a generous drizzle of Ranch dressing then on with more cheese before putting under the grill until crisp and bubbling.
Garnish with some chopped chives or spring onions.
Pizza Fries are the final way to tart up some potatoes. You will need these bits and bobs.
Make a start by drizzling some marinara sauce on your final tray of fries. Sprinkle with dried oregano or Italian seasoning then lay on some mozzarella slices. Finish with some sliced pepperoni and yet more grated cheese before popping under the grill until the cheese is melting and the pepperoni is crisp. Garnish with some freshly chopped basil. Divine, in a super unclassy way.
And now for a final bow from all three of the Loaded Fries.
These didn’t last long in our house, and why would they. Melted cheese, crisp bacon, salsa, guacamole, pepperoni, these items are basically just a list of my boys most favourite foods. These Loaded Fries are never going to win any Michelin Stars, but if can keep the hungry hoards happy for at least 5 minutes, you can keep your poncey stars.
Happy Summer Holidays to you and yours.
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Loaded Fries Recipe
Serves at least 4, if not 6, hungry types
You will need two big baking sheets
1 to 1.5kg potatoes, something like a Maris Piper works here
Approx 3-4 tablespoons oil, olive, sunflower, whatever you have to hand
Generous grindings of salt and pepper
Toppings – amounts vary, add as little or as much as you like
Guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese, salsa, jalapeños
Bacon, Cheese and Ranch
Grated cheese, bacon or pancetta – chopped and cooked until crisp, Ranch dressing
Pepperoni slices, tomato marinara sauce, mozzarella, grated cheese, oregano or Italian seasoning,
Chopped chives or spring onions, freshly chopped basil and/or coriander to garnish
Pre heat your oven to 190 degrees fan assisted and spray or drizzle your trays with a good tablespoon or two of oil.
Cut your potatoes into chip shapes, I didn’t bother peeling mine, and add to the lined baking sheets. Spray or drizzle the two trays of chips with some more olive oil, you will need to just lightly coat them, not drown them. Season generously with freshly ground salt and black pepper then place the trays of chips into your hot pre heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Don’t move the chips during the cooking time, if they are browning unevenly just turn the trays round. The finished chips should be golden, crisp and come off the tray easily.
While the chips are cooking, prepare your toppings. Place the bacon or pancetta into a hot frying pan and cook until crisp. Grate your cheese, slice the mozzarella and chop your herbs for garnish.
When your chips are ready, divide them into three oven proof trays and pre heat your grill.
For the Nacho Fries, top your hot fries with grated cheese and jalapeños and put under the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Remove from the grill and top with tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander or spring onions.
For the Bacon, Cheese and Ranch Fries, generously sprinkle your fries with grated cheese, then add the crispy bacon then drizzle with Ranch dressing. Add some more cheese then put under the grill for a couple of minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Garnish with some chopped chives.
For the Pizza Fries, drizzle the fries with pasta marinara sauce then sprinkle with dried oregano or Italian seasoning. Add slices of mozzarella then add some pepperoni slices. Finish with some grated cheese then pop under the grill until the cheese is melting and the pepperoni is sizzling. Garnish with some fresh basil.
Serve the fries immediately whilst piping hot.