Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
I never really cared for chili cheese fries, not sure why. But cheese fries I loved. I used to make this for my son and he absolutely loves them. I guess it is more fries with a cheese dip. But I often pour the sauce right over the fries. A combination of smoky bacon, white cheddar and chipotles make this a great cheese sauce. If ambitious, make your own fries - personally, I buy a good "frozen" brand, thin cut without seasoning, and then I add my own seasoning. I try to make this easy. There is nothing better that a grilled bratwurst (for me) or just a good hot dog with chili. I prefer my chili on the dog rather than my fries ... and a side of these cheese fries. The seasoning is simple and just tossed with the fries before baking and then the cheese sauce is very basic. Smoky and spicy.
Fries and Seasoning
- frozen french fries (I prefer the regular cut vs. a steak cut and no crinkle cut for me)
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1⁄3 cups milk (more or less depending on how thick you want your sauce. You can adjust this after the cheese, bacon)
- 1 1⁄4 cups grated white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 slices bacon, crispy and diced
- 1 small chipotle chile in adobo, fine chopped
- 1 large shallot, very fine diced
- Bacon -- For the bacon, I do mine right in the microwave. On a paper plate lined with 2 paper towels, then the bacon and top with 2 more paper towels - 4 minutes (approximately) and it is done and crispy. Let it cool and then chop up. Now, you can saute, oven bake or use any method you want. You just want the bacon crispy and diced.
- Fries -- In a large bowl, add the fries (slightly thawed; just enough so the spice and oil will stick to the fries), and add the olive oil and toss well. Add to a pan lined with parchment paper or foil (for easy clean up) and sprinkle with the seasoning. Toss lightly. Cook according to package directions until crispy brown.
- Cheese Sauce -- As the fries cook, in a small pot, melt the butter and shallot on medium low and cook for just a minute. Then stir in the flour to make a roux and cook just a minute to reduce the flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to medium heat to thicken the sauce and then add in the cheese, chipotle, chopped cooked bacon, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve -- A few ways to serve this. First, you can put the fries in a small casserole dish, pour the cheese sauce over, and broil for just a few minutes until golden brown. Second, you can just pour the sauce over the crispy fries and serve as it, or last; Third, you can serve the cheese sauce as a dip. Either way they are good. Cheesy, Smoky, Spicy. ENJOY!