Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In the Kitchen with Jason: Texas Chili Cheese Fries

If you like french fries, chili, and cheese, this is the recipe for you. And if you are like Jess and I, you will find yourself wishing that you had made more potatoes once you finish your plate. The chili and the cheese sauce make a whole bunch of servings (8-10) so leftovers are almost a guarantee.

  • 1 big potato for each serving you would like to make (4 potatoes would make 4 servings), chopped into 8 wedges
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
    • This is the first time I have ever even heard of grating garlic, and it's so much faster and easier than chopping it by hand. I recommend this method to anyone who uses garlic.
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 oz. dark beer
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp boring yellow mustard
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
I know this is more ingredients than our usual recipes, but this one isn't that hard to make so get everything together and move onto the...

  • Preheat the over to 450 degrees.
  • Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle them with EVOO (this is extra EVOO and is not mentioned in the ingredients) and then toss to get them evenly coated.
  • Spread the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 40 minutes, turning the wedges once at 20 minutes.
  • While the potatoes cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the EVOO and ground beef.
  • Cook the ground beef for a couple of minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spatula while you do so.
  • Once the ground beef is mostly broken up and starting to brown add in the onion, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.
  • Continue to cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the ground beef is fully cooked, stirring with the wooden spatula and breaking up any large chunks of beef as you go.
  • Add tomato paste and cook for a minute stirring constantly.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce and beer and bring to a boil.
  • Cover the skillet and lower the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  • While the chili simmers (and potatoes bake) melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat.
  • Whisk in the flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Cook for about a minute after all the flour has been added.
  • Add the mustard and mix it in well.
    • This will make it the consistency of paste.
  • Stir in the milk and chicken stock and continue to heat and stir over medium high heat until it starts to boil.
  • The second it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese.
  • All the things should get done around the same time.
    • When I made it, the order that things got done was cheese, potatoes, and then the chili but they were all within 5 minutes of each other.
  • Serve a plate of potatoes covered with a scoop of each the chili and the cheese sauce.
If you don't mind doing a lot of dividing, the recipe for the chili and the cheese will work just fine cut in half. It's just that I don't have a use for a 1/2 bottle of dark beer. And all those ingredients that use 3 tablespoons would then be 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons and that just feels like a lot of extra work.
Also on a side note, this needs some form of colorful vegetable to be served with it. Otherwise your dinner seems a little one sided.

We found the original recipe in Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book.

Please enjoy!

-Chef Jason

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