Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oprah's Un-Fried French Fries

Oprah Winfrey likes French fries. I know she does. And there is no malice or sarcasm involved in that statement. We all know Oprah likes French fries. Come on, look at that smile. She’s thinking about French fries right now.

To make up for her (an myself as well) luring folks to try that nasty Kentucky Grilled Chicken (with beef seasoning! thank you, El Pollo Loco), here’s one of Oprah’s recipes for fries:

Ingredients

* 5 lg Baking potatoes (about 2 3/4
* Light vegetable oil
* Cooking spray
* 2 lg Egg whites
* 1 tb Cajun spice

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice each potato into 1/4 inch ovals, then slice each oval lengthwise into matchsticks. Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the vegetable oil.
Combine the egg whites and Cajun spice in a bowl.
Add the matchstick potatoes and mix to coat.
Pour the coated potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out into a single layer, leaving a little space in between.
Place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the fries are crispy, turning them every 6 to 8 minutes with a spatula so that they brown evenly.


Rumor has it that Oprah also likes honey on her fries, whether it’s for dipping or poured right on, I don’t know, but I can’t say that I disagree. Honey is an intriguing condiment, not every time, but once in a while it’s great. I hear it’s extra great when the fries are a side for honey dipped chicken.

Brandy also likes Oprah and digs the whole honey and fries thing, read her blog entry about that here.


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Monday, June 29, 2009

French Fry Diary 28: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

This one’s for you, Quentin…

First off, I was surprised at the name change. I always thought it was Popeye’s Chicken. I’ve seen signs that say Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits. But apparently it’s really, or at least now it is, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Louisiana Kitchen does make a little bit of sense as the franchise started in New Orleans as Chicken on the Run. An additional fun fact is that the name comes from Gene Hackman’s character in The French Connection not the cartoon character. Although, that said, how one lends itself better to the name of a fast food franchise over the other is just beyond me.

But enough about that, you want to know about the favorite fried food, right? Their official name is Cajun Fries, or on the website, Cajun Battered Fries. Yeah, that about says what you need to know, doesn’t it? Popeyes Louisiana fries are natural cuts, thinner than standard straight regular cuts but not as thin as shoestrings. They are battered and deep-fried for that extra-extra-crispiness, and then heavily seasoned. They are actually very similar to Checkers fries.


The crispy factor, brought on by the battering, leads to lots of small pieces that are either all crunch and no potato, or just simply inedible. It also makes microwaving or reheating later after you’ve been home a while an exercise in futility. Only the full fries will make it through that process un-rock-like.

Warnings to heed… while the Cajun seasoning is hot, spicy and tasty – it will also stay with you for a couple days. It’s a heartburn I’m unsure is really worth it. But it is tasty when it first enters your body. Also, at Popeyes, a regular order of fries is the standard fries in paper packet, but a large is a big ass paper box. So unless you want that many Cajun fries, consider yourself warned.

Popeyes also has onion rings. Apparently. When I inquired about them I was told they didn’t have them. When I asked about the sign depicting the onion rings that was right next to the counterperson, I was told, “Oh, that’s just a sign.”

Ooookay.


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Sunday, June 28, 2009

French Fry Diary 27: Starburst Café, King of Prussia Plaza

I should have taken pictures. Not only are there no graphics or photos on the net of this place, based on the service I suspect it may be gone by the time I post this review. Regardless, to the left is a photo of one of the food courts in the gigantic King of Prussia shopping megacomplex near Philadelphia. The Starburst Café is that speck of blue neon mid-center left in the accompanying photo.

Though upscale mall in design and architecture, it was basically just like any of the sandwich shops or delis we have over in South Jersey. But there were problems. And I’m not just talking about the fact that the gigantic pictures over the mounted menu looked nothing like what any of us received as our meals.

The lady at the counter and the cook both spoke broken English. This is neither unique nor a bad thing, but when I am asked if I want onions on my cheesesteak and I say no – when I pick it up I shouldn’t get dirty looks from both of them when I mention it has onions on it. It was one of those times when I knew, I just knew, if I didn’t say to forget about it – the second cheesesteak would have a little something extra in it for me if you know what I mean. I just don’t think there was much communication going on between employees or with customers.

The cheesesteak was terrible by the way. The onions were cold, as were the two slices of slimy whitish-yellow cheese. Maybe I’ve been spoiled living so close to Philly but I was expecting Cheez Whiz or some similar substance, not the plastic slabs I got. I ate around the cheese and onions. Just that morning The Bride had admonished me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” so when she asked how my meal was I told her the roll was really good and the Orange Crush was ice cold.

As for the favorite fried food, they were natural regular cuts, obviously frozen, then deep-fried, maybe more than once and then had been sitting without benefit of a heat lamp for some time. Not good, not good at all. My advice – unless you’re thirsty and can’t find anywhere close that has Orange Crush – avoid the Starburst Café like the Black Plague.


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Saturday, June 27, 2009

New for Dippin’

In case you haven’t heard, Wendy’s has new Boneless Wings, obviously trying to keep up with KFC and their boneless wings, and why not? It’s a great idea, and imitation is best form of flattery.

The ones from Wendy’s are especially tasty, all white meat, with sauces coming in three flavors: Bold Buffalo with aged cayenne, Honey BBQ with real amber honey, and Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken with Asian chilies, pepper flakes and garlic. Yum.

Yeah, that’s all fine and good, and sounds delicious, but what does this have to do with the favorite fried food? Dipping, baby, dipping! All three of these sauces are especially tasty when you dip your fries into them.

Try it, you’ll love it!


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter...


Get your mind out of the gutter, if you can.

My friend Dom hipped me to this new ad running in Singapore by Burger King for their new “BK Super Seven Incher.”

I’m not saying a word.

Except make sure you get some fries with that, um, mouthful.

Mmm... fries...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

French Fry Diary 26: The Deli, Harrahs, Atlantic City

The Bride is addicted to slot machines. No biggie, I’m addicted to French fries. We love each other and accept our respective flaws, quirks and pleasures. The point is I get to experience all manner of non-gambling experiences in Atlantic City while she’s gambling – and occasionally they involve French fries. For instance when we go to Harrahs, while she’s popping money into the machines, sometimes I go to The Deli.

The Deli is right next to the gambling floor, at the center of the entertainment at Harrahs. Restaurants above and nearby, the theatre behind, and a bar with a stage right next door, it’s convenient no matter what you’re there for. Its specialty is, duh, deli fare, but they do also have the favorite fried food.

They serve quickly deep fried steak fries, probably store bought and frozen, but no matter, not only are they always hot and tasty – the servings are enormous. They will fill, and I mean fill a twelve-inch plate and then pile them on. And yeah, that’s for even a side dish. These guys don’t play around. And it’s not just that the serving size is huge, they are also very filling. When I can’t eat any more fries, you know that’s a lot.

There is also something to be said about consistency. A lot of the times I review fries there is the proviso that it varies on the day and who’s actually doing the cooking. Not so at The Deli, no matter when or who is involved, no matter how many times I’ve gotten them – Deli fries are always terrific. And the selection of Hank’s Root Beer, Philadelphia’s own, only makes the experience that much better. Recommended.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spam Fries

Yet another entry from This Is Why You’re Fat, ”where dreams become heart attacks...”

I love the site, just for its funky food combinations and its theoretical nose-thumbing at the Health Nazis. The problem is that there are probably as many fans of TIWYF for the wrong reasons as there are for fun reasons. It also kinda bugs me that all it takes to move a healthy dish into the unhealthy realm is the addition of bacon or cheese or especially French fries. I’m still a fan though.

Now, Spam fries. These are strips of Spam run through a French fry press as regular cuts and then deep-fried. They certainly look tasty (or is that nasty?) ... if you like Spam, that is.

I think all things considered, I’d rather have fries made from potatoes...


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Monday, June 22, 2009

Lego Fries



This photo was taken at the LEGO Store at the King of Prussia Plaza today.

Yep, that's right, those are French fries, made of Legos. They even have Lego ketchup on them!

Mmmm... fries...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grilled Bacon Potatoes

For Father's Day, a recipe that can be done on the grill, Dad's favorite cooking tool...

Grilled Bacon Potatoes

3 large red potatoes, not peeled, sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
3 slices bacon
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons paprika
salt, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
pepper, to taste

Fire up the grill!

Place the three slices of bacon side by side in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil.

Layer your potatoes and onions on top of the bacon

Add your paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic to the top of the potatoes and onions.

Cut your butter into pads and place across the top of the potatoes.

Wrap potatoes up tightly in the foil; double wrap for extra support.

Let potatoes cook on grill, not over direct heat, for at least an hour.

Makes 2 servings


Originally from Potato-Recipe and The Happy Cooker, thanks to Marla in Las Vegas.


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Saturday, June 20, 2009

French Fry Diary 25: Milkshakes and Fries

My friends know this about me and most of them are used to it, but some are still a little grossed out, but for at least a couple decades before the idea of French Fry Diary ever popped into my head – I have been dipping French fries in milkshakes.

It began at McDonald’s where both the fries and the shakes are remarkable. But I suppose it goes back before that to dipping Oreos or chocolate chip cookies in milk, or dipping potato chips or pretzels into ice cream. It’s just a natural progression. The best combination would be the old Burger King fries with the BK black and white shake, but alas, the new BK fries just aren’t the same. Black and white shakes work best in my opinion, then chocolate, vanilla not so much, and strawberry not at all.

Speaking of the BK black and white shake, one of my favorite things, and folks will find this disgusting, is to dip my burger in the shake and eat it bite by bite, dip by dip. And yes, it’s a plain burger so there’s no debris. Yep, I know, disgusting, but I love it. I also like putting fries on the burger itself, and on that I know I’m not alone. And I bet there are folks out there with worse combinations. After all somebody is eating those poutine fries, right?

After surfing the web recently I found that I’m not alone, at least with fries. Extreme John says in his review of Whataburger:

“French Fries are one of my all time favorite foods, I have a deep deep love for crispy French fries. Whenever I go to Wendy’s or any place that has a chocolate shakes or a Frosty type of thing I will always dip my fries in it.”

See? I’m not crazy. Well, with the fries in the shake at least… And yes, Wendy’s fries dipped in a Frosty is epic win as well.

In a more recent blog entry, John even gives direction on how the Wendy’s operation is done:

“How to dip Wendy’s Fries into a Wendy’s Frosty

“Yes, folks, it as simple as it sounds, you head to your local Wendy’s and order whatever your Wendy’s favorite might be, you can even get a salad if you want to. However if you do get a salad today will be a naughty salad day for you, you will also need to order Wendy’s French Fries and at the very least a small Wendy’s Frosty.

“As you sit back and finish up your salad, hamburger or baked potato make sure you save room for the tasty treat your about to deliver to your deserving tongue. Grab a bunch of French fries and keep them close together, use the French fries the same way you would use a spoon and scoop up some of your Chocolate or Vanilla Frosty, deliver to mouth and repeat. I tried this little combination with the new Wendy’s Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty just the other day, that wasn’t working as well as the traditional chocolate Frosty for this purpose.”


While I don’t agree with the method (single fries work just as well), he’s got it dead on about the flavor – the chocolate Frosty is best for fries.

Extreme John continues from his Whataburger review, “I also love “Disco Fries” or “Jersey Fries,” which are French fries with American cheese on them, add side of brown gravy and you have “Disco Fries” or “Jersey Fries”. The fries at Whataburger were fresh, not coated in grease and perfectly crunchy, dipped into the chocolate shake I ordered they were perfect.”

Now while as a native New Jerseyan, and a French fry fanatic, I had never before heard the term “Jersey Fries” (might be a north Jersey/south Jersey thing), I trust and respect Extreme John’s opinions. So much so, that until I get a chance to visit the southern-based chain Whataburger, enjoy Extreme John’s review here.



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Friday, June 19, 2009

Obama at Five Guys

Apparently the President is a Five Guys fan too…



To quote his associate, “Fries, yes, sir, thank you for caring.”


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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Free Slider!

To celebrate their 88th anniversary, White Castle is offering this coupon to print out for a free slider!

Only for a limited time, so get moving!

And don’t forget the fries!


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Eat Fries and Support Kids with Cancer

NOTABLE TV AND NEW YORK FRIES COMBINE TO ORGANIZE THE BIGGEST FRY MEET-UP TORONTO HAS EVER SEEN

For the second year running, New York Fries is a Platinum Level Sponsor of the National Kids Cancer Ride (www.nationalkidscancerride.com) – a charity event to raise money for kids living with cancer. The Canadian fast food restaurant chain will be donating $1 from every regular fries and meal sold on June 18th to the National Kids Cancer Ride and has spent the last two months raising awareness of the event. The money raised will be used to support Oncology centres across Canada. To help out, Toronto-based Notable TV (www.notabletv.com) is teaming up with New York Fries to organize a unique charity event in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Notable TV Founder and CEO Julian Brass wants to take over the city’s busiest intersection – Yonge and Dundas – with hundreds of fry-wielding supporters of this great cause. The plan is to encourage people to purchase a regular fries or meal at either of the two New York Fries locations in the Eaton Centre on June 18th, and then meet at Dundas Square for a massive gathering and opportunity to mingle with other altruistic young professionals.

“We want to create the biggest fry meet-up the city has ever seen,” said Brass. “This fun networking event will lead to hundreds of dollars going to support kids living with cancer, thanks to New York Fries’ donation day.”

In addition, Brass has created a Facebook group about the Ride on behalf of New York Fries and Notable TV where members can leave supportive messages to kids living with cancer. The messages from the group’s wall will be copied onto a large billboard and delivered to children who are fighting cancer in hospitals across Canada.



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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Have You Voted Yet?

The poll (found to your immediate left) to find out what your favorite fast food French fries will be coming to a close at the end of the month - have you voted yet?

McDonald's seems to have a very clear lead, but still the battle rages on for second. A tie between Five Guys, In-N-Out Burger and Burger King needs to be broken. Or perhaps there's another fry that should be in the lead? Where are the fans of Sonic? Or Checkers? Or my favorite, Fatburger? Come on out and vote!

As for the folks who have voted for the 'someplace other' option - why not send me a note and let me know where to find your favorite fries? I can be contacted here. Looking forward to hearing from you!

And don't forget to vote!


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grilled Buffalo Potato Wedges

Here's one more from Potato-Recipe and The Happy Cooker, great for outdoor barbeque season:

Grilled Buffalo Potato Wedges

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
3 to 4 teaspoons red pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 unpeeled medium potatoes (about 1 1/4 lb)
1 cup blue cheese dressing

Heat gas or charcoal grill. In shallow dish, mix butter, vinegar, pepper sauce and salt. Cut each potato lengthwise into 4 wedges; pat dry with paper towels. Dip potato wedges into butter mixture; reserve any remaining butter mixture.

Place potatoes on grill rack over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 25 to 35 minutes, brushing occasionally with butter mixture and turning once or twice, until tender.
Serve with dressing. Makes: 4 servings


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fried Potatoes with Onions & Peppers

Fried Potatoes with Onions & Peppers

4 red potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool cut into 1/2 inch cubes. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and green pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft; about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Pour remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Add potato cubes, salt, paprika and black pepper.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are browned; about 10 minutes. Stir in the onions, green peppers and parsley and cook for another minute. Serve hot.


The source is The Happy Cooker, posted by Marla in Las Vegas to the Potato-Recipe Yahoo! group.


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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Could You Be the Next Colonel?

From the official KFC website:

A SECOND COLONEL? KFC LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR NEW FACE OF KENTUCKY GRILLED CHICKEN™

To Celebrate Its Grilled Menu, KFC Teams with MySpace to Cook Up Nationwide Quest to Find the Ultimate KGC Fan and Possible New Brand Icon

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Colonel needs a counterpart. For 65-plus years, the image of Colonel Sanders has represented Kentucky Fried Chicken. Now KFC embarks on a worldwide search, with online partner MySpace, to identify a new iconic face for the brand’s revolutionary new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC). The search for the ultimate KGC fan has begun.

Whether it’s an uncanny resemblance to the fried chicken founder or an updated take on the classic chicken dance, KFC fans can submit a video now through July 7, at www.myspace.com/unthinkfc showcasing why they are the ultimate KGC fan. America will have the final vote on the brand’s new KGC ambassador.

By showing the world why they are the ultimate KGC fan, entrants have a chance to win the ultimate chicken prize – KGC for life – valued at more than $13,000, awarded in the form of KFC® gift checks. The winner will also have the chance to strut their stuff and represent KFC as the next American icon, potentially even appearing in future KFC advertising.

Three finalists will be revealed on July 25, with voting beginning on August 1 where KGC fans can watch the top three videos and vote for the “Ultimate KGC Fan.” (All entrants and voters must be registered members of the MySpace Web site and in compliance with MySpace’s Terms & Conditions policy).

“For decades, our founder Colonel Sanders has been the face of our world famous fried chicken,” said Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC. “With the launch of our second secret recipe, we’re encouraging all chicken lovers, grilled and fried, to showcase why they are the ultimate KGC fan and should be the new face of Kentucky Grilled Chicken.”


And if you do become the new Colonel, or even try to by entering the contest - don't forget about the fries!


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Thursday, June 04, 2009

French Fry Diary 24: Pat’s Family Restaurant II

I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong, and I think I may have jumped the gun with only one visit to Pat’s Family Restaurant in Marlton NJ, and may have been harsh with my review.

The place is very local, so I’ve had the chance to return there numerous times, and I’d like to correct a few things I had said at first. They do a brisk busy business and the service I was concerned with previously has become quite quick and streamlined. And I hope they stay around for quite some time.

My opinion of the fries also needs to be corrected. Yeah, that first visit, they weren’t so hot, and as with many places the fries depend on who’s doing the cooking. Since then the French fries have improved greatly and have been fairly consistent every time I’ve gone back. As a matter of fact, they’ve been a major reason to go back.

A recent trip to get some fries to go revealed more improvements. They now have these cool little boxes for take out fries, sealable to keep the fries hot for the ride home. It should also be noted that they always come in abundant servings, whether to go or eat in. Pat’s fries are natural cuts that are always crispy and hot, well worth putting a sign out to brag about.



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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

McMulti-Use

I went to McDonald’s for breakfast the other day and I noticed something a bit different.

It seems the economy is even affecting the big fast food restaurants these days.

I discovered that Mickey D is no longer using the regular hash Browns wrappers for their tasty Hash Browns, but using the small French Fries bags instead. They don’t really fit the Hash Browns well but they do the job and I assume the company is saving some pennies this way.

Of course they could just enlarge the Hash Browns to fit the bags better…

I’m just sayin’...


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