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Chili Cheese Fries

No chapter about comfort food would be complete without a recipe for French fries. Sure, I’ve baked my way out of heartbreak and disappointment with cookies and puddings, but when it comes down to life’s serious bummers, French fries are the only way to go. These mouthwatering French fries have all the flavor of chili fries without the chili. Grill seasoning, smoky chili powder, and spicy chili flakes make these baked potato slices absolutely irresistible. These are totally my new favorite thing!

Note that McCormick grill seasoning has salt in it. I didn’t need more than a few pinches of additional salt for the potatoes to be super delicious. If you use a grill seasoning without salt, add more salt to your own taste.–Joy Wilson

LC Chili Cheese Fries Minus the Chili Disclaimer Note

We’ve got something of a disclaimer to issue. Despite what their name may lead you to believe, these chili cheese fries don’t actually take their demolish-the-entire-panful-while-standing-at-the-counter allure from chili. They rely instead on traditional chili seasonings. Something of an oxymoron, we know. But practically speaking, what this means is that satiety can be yours in as little as an hour–as opposed to the drawn-out, delayed gratification demanded by first slowly simmering some of your secret recipe for that spicy elixir known as chili. Though the hand-cut fries aren’t glopped with saucy meat, they are still drowned in cheese, so while there are ample crisped edges, don’t be surprised if they’re not crisp through and through. We find the occasional soggy fry to be a pleasing study in contrasts. And while you study that, we’re going to snatch the rest of the batch.

Chili Cheese Fries Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning mix (I use McCormick)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and slick the paper with olive oil.
  • 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, chili powder, paprika, cumin, chili flakes if using, cayenne, and salt. Set aside.
  • 3. Rinse the potatoes under cool running water and peel them. (You can leave some skin bits on the potatoes if you want to go for a more rustic feel.) Using a sharp knife, slice a 1/4 -inch piece off each potato lengthwise. This gives you a stable base. Rest the potatoes, cut side down, on your work surface and slice them into 1/4- to 3/8-inch planks. Stack the planks in piles, 2 to 3 planks high, and slice the stacks lengthwise into 1/4- to 3/8-inch strips. Look at that! French fries!
  • 4. In a medium bowl, toss the fries with the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and grill seasoning. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the fries and, using tongs, toss them together, making sure that every potato is well coated. Spread the fries on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. (For the crispest results, make certain the fries don’t touch one another. If you need a second baking sheet, so be it.)
  • 5. Bake the fries, removing from the oven 2 or 3 times to toss, until the potatoes reach the desired crispiness, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, scatter the cheese over the fries, and return them to the oven for just a few minutes to melt the cheese. Slide them onto a platter, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.
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