In case you weren’t well aware of it already, I’m addicted to potatoes. I think I’ve mentioned it a few times here and there (okay, so maybe more than just a few times) how deep my love affair with potatoes goes. It’s pretty deep. As deep as any love. I’d climb the highest mountain for them. I’d swim the deepest ocean for them. But not in a weird creepy kind of way. It’s been this way ever since I was a young kid, though. I’m pretty sure that when I was born, my mamma didn’t give me that puréed baby food stuff in those tiny jars that all the other babies got (I was too cool for that), instead she gave me french fries by the bucket full. I ate them all up too with lots of ketchup. That’s when my love of potatoes started. If anything, I have my mom to blame for it. I’m not complaining about it though.
Anyhow, I’m digressing from the real situation and which is that it’s time for the next installment of my collaboration with Idaho Potato! Ring the bells and go through the town and city and scream out from the top of your lungs THE FRENCH FRIES ARE HERE!! THE FRENCH FRIES ARE HERE! Because they are finally here! But they’re not just normal plain old boring fries (I’m kidding fries are never boring at all), no these are the ultimate fry situation. The kind of fries you write back home to your family to. The kind of fries you fall madly deeply in love with. The kind of fries you lose sleep over and can’t stop thinking about. The kind of fries, that even with your closest friends and family you do not share. No, not even a bite. Don’t even smell them. I’m talking about fries topped with melted cheese, friends, chopped carne asada, tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, guacamole and salsa verde. These are the fries you’re going to eat for the rest of your life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
These also happen to be the second recipe of my collaboration with Idaho Potato! My dream partnership and I’m excited to finally get to share it with you. In case you missed the first recipe, Baked Idaho Potato Sliders, you can catch up and read all about them here. They’re my favorite sliders. Also, don’t forget to stay tuned every Monday for the rest of the month to get the scoop on the other recipes I dreamed up for Idaho potato. You’re gonna love them. But listen to me going on and on about recipes that don’t even matter at this very moment. Right now, all that matters are these fries topped with carne asada and the ridiculous amount we’re going to eat.
The first thing we’re going to do is fry up the potatoes. We’re making french fries at home, from scratch but don’t let that scare you. It’s actually quite simple AND INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS. I’M YELLING BECAUSE I’M SO EXCITED! The only warning I’m going to give you is that once you realize just how simple making french fries actually is, you’re going to be making them all of the time. For real.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin matchstick-like fries, and place them in a bowl filled with cold water. The cold water will prevent them from turning color as you continue to cut the potatoes.
**Note: You don’t have to peel the potatoes if you’re too lazy or if you want a more rustic french fry. I’m not judging as I would do the same at home if I were alone and no one was watching me.**
Once all of the potatoes are cut, drain a handful and dry them well with a clean kitchen towel or with a few paper napkins.
**Note: Make sure they’re super dry because you don’t want any moisture to get into the hot oil. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.**
We’re ready to fry, so heat the oil to about 350ºF.
**Tip: I like to use a candy/oil thermometer to make sure the oil is at the right temperature. You don’t want the oil to get too hot and you also don’t want it to not be hot enough. The thermometer takes the guess work out. Get one, it’ll change you deep frying life for the good.**
Carefully drop in a handful of the DRIED fries at a time. Fry for about 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown. We’re going to double fry these potatoes so the first round is just cooking them in the center. The second fry will crisp them up! That’s what you want. Trust me.
Transfer the fries onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
**Tip: Make sure you only fry a few handfuls at a time. You don’t want to over crowd the oil because it’ll drop the temperature significantly and then they won’t fry up properly.**
When you’ve removed the first batch, allow the oil to heat back up to 350ºF before going for another batch.
Once the potatoes have all been fried the one time around, bring the temperature of the oil to 375º and drop in the fried potatoes (in batches) once again until golden brown and crispy!
Transfer the crispy potatoes onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Allow the excess oil to drain off and season with salt.
You can keep the fries warm in a preheated 300ºF oven. Place them in the oven and not into your mouth…just yet. Okay, you can sneak a few (because I did) but that’s it. Save the rest for the end.
Let’s now turn our attention to the carne asada, which refers to grilling flap meat. Place the flap meat or skirt steak in a large bowl. Season with vegetable oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion power, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, cumin and Worcestershire sauce.
**Note: If you have all of those seasonings on hand already, then go ahead and use them. If you don’t have one or any of these, don’t panic. You’ll totally fine with just salt and pepper. The rest of the ingredients will bring out great flavor regardless.**
Grill the steak in a hot outdoor or stovetop grill for about 5 minutes on the first side, and 2 minutes on the second side. Depending on how you like your meat cooked.
Get all of the rest of your components together. That’s shredded Monterey jack cheese, cheddar, sour cream, tomatoes, guacamole, pickled jalapeños, tomatoes, cilantro and queso fresco cheese (which is a Mexican cheese).
Place the warmed fries onto “oven-safe” plates or bowls or one large 9×13 baking dish.
Top the fries with the shredded cheeses. Like a big mountain of cheese. Don’t be shy. Do it and don’t look back. Don’t even think twice about it.
Place the fries in a 350ºF oven for about 5 to 7 minutes to melt the cheese until bubbly. Carefully remove it from the oven and get ready to really load these suckers up. Control yourself and don’t eat them just yet.
Top the melted cheesy fries with the chopped up carne asada. Make it rain down delicious chunks of beef.
Finish off the fries with diced tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, salsa verde (which lucky for you I have a recipe here on these breakfast burritos), sour cream, guacamole, and crumbled queso fresco cheese.
**Note: If you can’t find queso fresco at your local grocery store, it’s not that important, so you can definitely omit it. It won’t be the end of the world.**
Eat the fries right away, although I really don’t have to tell you that because at this point (if you’re like me) you’ll have already been salivating ever since the fries were done frying up.
Unfortunately this recipe doesn’t really allow for cooking ahead. The fries would get soggy if you did, especially once all of the toppings are on. You wouldn’t be able to reheat the fries once the sour cream and guacamole and tomatoes were on. Although, maybe you don’t mind hot sour cream, guac and tomatoes. Who knows?! I’m not gonna say anything. You won’t have to worry about any of that though because they’ll all be gone before then.
You can grill the meat and chop it up in advance. Then just reheat it before topping the fries with it. You could also go ahead and make the salsa verde and guacamole early as well, if you’re making them from scratch, but you can definitely use store bought if you don’t have the time.
These fries are great as an appetizer or snack at parties. It’s a real crowd pleaser and by crowd I totally mean it’s a Jonathan pleaser because I’ll eat enough of these for a crowd. I’m not even ashamed to admit it. You have no idea just how much I love french fries. My entire family are french fry people.
Give this recipe a try soon, like right this very minute soon. If you can’t find the carne asada (flap meat) then feel free to use chicken or pork instead! Or keep things vegetarian and omit it all together. They’re just as great with all of the other toppings. Don’t forget to stay tuned for the rest of the Idaho Potato recipes coming this month! In the meantime, go out and eat as many potatoes as humanly possible, I know I am.
- 1 pound Idaho® potatoes, peeled and cut into thin fries
- vegetable oil for frying
- 2 pounds flap steak (carne asada) or skirt steak
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup guacamole
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños, optional
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (Mexican fresh cheese), optional
- Heat a large pot (dutch oven will work great here) over medium-high heat. Fill it a little bit less than half of the way up with vegetable oil. Attach a deep fryer thermometer and heat the oil to about 350 degrees F.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into thin fries. Immediately place the fries into a bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning brown and to rinse away the excess starch. Drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. Make sure they’re completely dry; you don’t want any moisture in the oil.
- Fry the potatoes in batches until light golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir with a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Continue frying the rest of the fries. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F and fry the potatoes a second time (in batches as well) until deep golden brown and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer back to wire rack and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Heat an outdoor grill or a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. In a large bowl combine the flap steak with the salt, pepper, granulated garlic, onion, paprika, oregano and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until evenly seasoned. Cook the meat until charred on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for a few minutes before chopping.
- To assemble the fries, arrange the fried potatoes on an oven-safe platter, baking sheet, or individual ramekins. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Top with chopped carne asada, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, cilantro and queso fresco, if desired. Serve right away.
- yield: 4 servings