By Kelly Bogard
Football is here! From Friday night lights to Sunday tailgates, it’s time to cheer on the boys of fall.
Like many homes in Texas, our fall weekends are filled with family, football and fun. And when you need to feed a crowd with an appetite, you better have the right snacks.
For Loaded Fries, you will need…
3 large baking potatoes
2 c. Colby jack cheese, grated
1 pkg. bacon, chopped
oil for frying
salt for seasoning
homemade ranch dressing
Our big game day is usually Saturday. We turn on the TV, invite some friends over and we snack while watching a game or two. Saturdays are not for counting calories.
Start by washing and slicing the potatoes into strips. I like to cut them in half, then in quarters, followed by slicing and then in half again. This gives you the prefect size fries for dipping and sharing.
Once the potatoes are sliced, rinse them in a bowl of cold water until the water is no longer cloudy. The trick to crispy fries is the to get the extra starch out of them. Once the water is clear, fill the bowl one more time and cover. Let the potatoes chill in water in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before getting them ready to fry.
Now that the potatoes have been soaked and chilled, remove them from the water and pat them dry with a towel while you heat your oil. You want the oil to be around 300 degrees for the first fry. Yep, you got it. We’re going to fry these spuds twice for optimal crispness.
When the oil is hot enough, fry the potato slices in batches for about five minutes per batch. You can fry your bacon up in a separate pan while you’re working with the fries. Place the cooked fries on a wire rack with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Do the same with your bacon once it is crispy.
After all the fries have been cooked one time, turn the heat up on the oil to about 400 degrees. Fry the potatoes again in the hotter oil until they begin to turn golden. Repeat the process until all of the fries are cooked. Then season with a little bit of salt.
Add a second layer of fries topped with the rest of the bacon and cheese and place under the broiler to melt the cheese. Be sure to watch it closely, so they don’t burn. Once everything is melted together sprinkle on fresh chives and serve with ranch dressing.
These taters are definitely a game changer when it comes to game day snacks and you will be the MVP of the game, at least at your house, with these crispy, golden snacks. Plus, Texas is home to several potato farmers. So, you’re supporting agriculture in our state! I hope your teams do well this season and for all of us at Texas Table Top, enjoy!