Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bacon Cheese Fries... Or Are They?

This Quick Cooking recipe from Taste of Home isn't really what it sounds like. It seems like it should be a finger food, is even referenced as a finger food, but is in reality a casserole-type dish. Here you go:

Bacon Cheese Fries
Quick Cooking

"These tempting potatoes are one finger food I can make a meal of," informs Marilyn Dutkus of Laguna Beach, California. "Quick to fix, they're a hit at parties and as a snack. Ranch dressing is a tasty alternative to sour cream."

CATEGORY: Appetizer
TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.

1 package (32 ounces) frozen French fried potatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
Ranch salad dressing

Cook French fries according to package directions.
Place fries on a broiler-proof dish or platter.
Sprinkle with cheese, onions and bacon.
Broil for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with ranch dressing.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Nutrition Facts
One serving:(1 each)
Calories: 218 Fat:11 g Saturated Fat:4 g Cholesterol: 14 mg Sodium:180 mg Carbohydrate: 25 g Fiber:2 g Protein:6 g

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

French Fry Diary 33: The Winner

The very clear winner of our “What Are Your Favorite Fast Food French Fries?” poll is McDonalds. Twenty-nine out of ninety-three votes went to Mickey D’s golden fries. Granted they are very consistent, very tasty and very very famous, as well as convenient (where isn’t there a McDonalds nearby?)

I’d really like to hear from the folks who voted for McD in this poll. Let me know why you voted the way you did. Contact me here. Remember, curiosity killed the cat, not the French fry fan. That was cholesterol ;-) but we’ll let the Health Nazis take care of that diatribe.

Second place with eight votes belongs to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and most deservedly should. Their fresh and hot natural regular cuts are always terrific. Check out my review of their fries here.

Also with eight votes is the ‘someplace else’ category. Obviously I couldn’t list every fast food place in the country so I just went with a handful. Eight folks chose ‘none of the above,’ and just like above here in this article, I’d like y’all to please contact me and let me know who does actually have the best fast food French fries. You’ve got me curious, let me know! ☺

Now on the other end of the spectrum, it should be noted that Sonic (whose fries are not the best), White Castle, Jack in the Box, Nathan’s and Stewart’s received zero votes. I’d love to know why on that point as well. Are those fries really that terrible? I would take serious issue with Nathan’s unique thick crinkle cuts getting no votes as I think those are pretty special. Not the best, mind you, but up there pretty high.

In-N-Out Burger, which I’ve never had, and those spicy long fries at Checkers and Rallys both got seven votes each for third place. Bringing up a tie for fourth place were Burger King, Wendy’s and those tasty waffle fries from Chick-fil-A. Fifth place with four votes belongs to Popeyes which leads me to believe that a lot more folks like those long and spicy battered fries than I thought. Me, I can only have them once in a while. Too much aftertaste.

Sixth place, Fatburger, was what I personally voted for. Whether you get the Skinny Fries or the Fat Fries, I think they are the best of the fast food fries, followed by probably by Nathan’s, Five Guys, Chick-fil-A and maybe Roy Rogers. But what do I know… about French fries?

Whataburger took two votes for the distant seventh place, and Arby’s, KFC, Carl’s Jr., Hardees, Roy Rogers, Dairy Queen and Long John Silver all received one vote each. We’ll do this again at some point and see how folks’ minds may change (or not). Please feel free to comment below, or contact me directly. Until then, mmmm... fries...

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cajun Potato Wedges

Cajun Potato Wedges

From Simple & Delicious
May/June 2009 issue
Page: 27

These terrific-tasting three-ingredient potatoes go with all kinds of summer entrees and just couldn't be much easier! - Merle Dyck – Elkford, BC

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


3 medium potatoes (1-1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon Crisco® Light Olive Oil
2 to 3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning


Cut each potato lengthwise into eight wedges; place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
Drizzle with oil.
Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning; toss to coat.
Bake at 450° for 20-25 minutes or until tender, turning once.
Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
One serving: 6 potato wedges
Calories: 156, Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 341 mg, Carbohydrate: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 3 g

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

French Fry Diary 32: Olga’s Diner 1949-2009

Originally it was located in Camden NJ and first opened in 1949. In 1960 they opened the location most people know it by on the circle where Route 73 and Route 70 meet. For sixty years Olga’s Diner was a South Jersey icon and landmark.

Whether you were on your way to Philadelphia or down the shore, Olga’s was the place you met and got together – though if you were local it was not necessarily the place you ate. Being open twenty-four hours it was sometimes where you ended up at four in the morning.

At one time the food must have been good. Supposedly the bakery was legendary. But for as long as I’ve been aware of Olga’s it was not the place to eat. Maybe get coffee or a Coke (although I think they gave you Pepsi no matter what you asked for) but nothing else.

For those wondering about the favorite fried food, they were typical diner fare. Regular straight cuts, probably frozen and then deep fried, and they were replaced by those awful Invisicoat things when that came into style. Bad fries to match the rest of the place.

It has been in serious decline the last decade. Closed due to health violations, pest problems (when it snowed you could clearly see the rats running in the parking lot), seriously defeated by the vastly superior Medport Diner down the road in Medford and the recent Marlton Diner right up the street, for sale several times, seized due to backtaxes, and now, possibly, finally dealt the deathblow of the Circle being demolished to facilitate a cloverleaf.

It looks as if now it will soon be torn down, and South Jersey will lose a friendly and familiar if tarnished landmark. I don’t know if there really ever was an Olga, but we’ll miss her and her Diner. Rest in peace.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

French Fry Diary 31: Earl of Sandwich, Downtown Disney

Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney doesn’t have French fries, but gosh darn it they should. It’s an upper class Subway type place that specializes in, duh, sandwiches.

As I said, no fries, but they do have potato chips and it should be noted that chips are merely an extra slice away from being fries. It’s almost the same animal.

At Earl of Sandwich, they have Miss Vickie’s chips, a French crunchy kettle chip that appears to be all fancy-schmancy due to the French thing. The flavor I sampled, one I might add isn’t made any longer, was "Mesquite B-B-Q/B-B-Q Champetre." They were very crunchy, spicy and tasty – and must be consumed with a beverage, preferably milk.

Closer inspection does lead to a disappointment however. Hidden on the back with the bilingual (French and English) ingredients and back story is the wicked truth that Miss Vickie is actually a subsidiary of Frito Lay. It doesn’t change the taste but it does mess with the whole French fantasy thing...

*reviewed from my 2005 trip to Walt Disney World.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Camp Taters

Here's yet another tasty potato recipe for grilling season, this one straight from camp...

Camp Taters

6 Baking potatoes
1 Onion; chopped
4 ounce Green chiles
4 ounce Black olives; chopped
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Lemon pepper
6 teaspoons butter or margarine
Aluminum Foil

Scrub and chop baking potatoes into pieces, but do not peel.
Prepare 6-8 square pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, one piece per serving.
Place equal portions of the ingredients on each foil square.
Fold the foil in a drug-store type fold, sealing ends.
Place on barbecue grill for about 45-55 minutes.

Another great recipe from the wonderful folks at Potato-Recipe

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

French Fry Diary 30: Fries Supreme

Taco Bell now has French fries. Or at least at select locations.

Taco Bell has never really officially had fries. If they did it was because they were sharing space with one of the other Yum! Restaurants. The usual side offering would be nachos or cinnamon twists, not fries. The new concoction, called Fries Supreme (which doesn’t appear on TB’s online menu), consists of regular cut fries covered in cheese sauce, sour cream, tomato and green onions.

As I mentioned in a previous post, those must be some soggy fries. I wonder if I could order them plain?


Saturday, July 11, 2009

French Fry Diary 29: Tornado Fries

Traditionally a treat on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, the infamous Tornado Fries have finally made it to the States.

For those of you who don’t know about the tornado potato, we’re talking about an entire potato, thinly spiral-cut, and deep-fried on a skewer. Check the pic for further illumination.

According to Serious Eats, it will be available at the Minnesota State Fair this summer, as well as being available in this French fry lover’s back yard, on the New Jersey Boardwalk.

The Original Tornado Fries is now open on the Wildwood Boardwalk and doing a brisk business. You can get them with a variety of seasonings and toppings.

So if you get down to the Wildwood shore, and you’re an aficionado of the favorite fried food, don’t forget to stop by and get your Tornado Fries.


Friday, July 10, 2009

The New Zealand Chip Shop Competition

New Zealand Chip (French Fries) Shop Competition Is On Again

New Zealand, July 02, 2009

The search for New Zealand’s top chip shop kicks off this month, with registrations opening for shops wanting to take part in the ‘That’s Life! Best Chip Shop Competition 2009’.

This year, competing shops can gain extra points in the Competition if at least one employee has their Chip Group Online Training certificates on display.

Chairperson of The Chip Group, Glenda Gourley, said judges will be on the look out for certificates, as a way of identifying chip shops that are putting into practice the ‘New Zealand Standards for Deep Fried Chips in Independent Fast Food Outlets’.

“Shops that complete the online modules, which cover all aspects of the Industry Standards, will not only increase their odds of winning the Competition, but they’ll also be serving up healthier chips to their customers. Furthermore, our research shows that they’ll enhance customer satisfaction and achieve greater business efficiencies."

There are seven online training modules covering chip size, oil temperature, cooking/deep-frying, drainage, oil maintenance, filtering and cleaning, and salt.

“It only takes 5-8 minutes to complete each module and once a module is completed an employee is then able to print out their certificate.

Heart Foundation nutritionist, Judith Morley-John, said last year, 70% of the 89 finalists achieved the Chip Group’s aim of an average fat content of 9.2%.

New Zealand Chip Shops can check if they are registered, sign up for the Competition and complete the Chip Group Online Training modules by visiting

The ‘That’s Life! Best Chip Shop Competition 2009’ is the country’s only national chip shop competition and this year is supported by: That’s Life!, ‘Goodman Fielder’, ‘Bakels’, Food2Go Magazine, McCain Foods (NZ) Ltd, ‘Mr Chips’, ‘Potatoes New Zealand’, ‘Alfa One’, ‘Eurotec’ and the ‘Heart Foundation’.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Carne Asada Fries

Carne Asada Fries. Scott Rodriguez of the San Diego News Network seems to think they’re something special, and says so in his review, "Carne Asada Fries: The new American comfort food."

You click and go enjoy it while I try to puzzle out all the weird capitalizations and uncapitalizations.

While I am still unsure why Carne Asada Fries needs to be capped, I do not that I have trouble calling something that is really only 25-30% fries fries. It’s like all the entries to This Is Why You’re Fat that simply add fries to make something 'unhealthier.' Carne Asada Fries simply don’t have that much fries in them, except for the very soggy ones at the bottom.

Just my opinion...


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Cow Appreciation Day Is July 10th

From the Chick-fil-A pressroom:

Cow-Clad Customers Get Free Chick-fil-A Meals on Cow Appreciation Day

Chain Continues Healthy Sales Momentum in 2009

ATLANTA – In the ‘moo’d for a free meal? As part of the chain’s fifth annual Cow Appreciation Day celebration, Chick-fil-A® restaurants are offering a free meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who visits one of the 1,450-plus participating restaurants fully dressed as a cow on Friday, July 10.

Customers dressed head to hoof as a cow will be rewarded with a free Chick-fil-A Meal, which includes an entrée of choice, a side item and a Dr Pepper® (or other beverage choice). For those who are too timid to wear full cow costumes, Chick-fil-A will award a complimentary entrée to customers partially dressed in cow attire, such as a cow-spotted scarf, purse, hat or other accessory.

Chick-fil-A has launched a special website dedicated to the occasion, In addition to providing further details about the event, the site offers cow costume tips as well as downloadable cow spots, masks and other bovine-themed accessories for customers to use to create their costumes. The site also will host two online photo contests, one contest for adults 18 and older and another for children 10 and under. Both contests will award free Chick-fil-A products for a year to the best cow-dressed customers, and children will also have the opportunity to win a $1,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond and a digital camera through the kid’s photo contest.

Now in its fifth year, Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day continues to build momentum. Last year’s event – and the resulting turnout – confirmed that Chick fil-A has a strong following of customers willing to go to great lengths to show their appreciation for cows. Thousands of cow-clad customers visited Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country, including a herd of more than 2,000 from area summer camps, daycares and preschools in Columbus, Ga. Costumes ranged from simple cow-spotted t-shirts to full cow suits complete with furry ears, cow bells and homemade sandwich boards with personalized renditions of the “Eat Mor Chikin®” Cows’ quirky messages.

“Cow Appreciation Day continues to be one of our best indicators of the great passion our customers have for the brand,” said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president of marketing. “It takes a loyal fan to dress like a cow for a free meal. Based on the stories we hear from our restaurant Operators around the country, we have quite a large – and growing – base of Chick-fil-A fans. Cow Appreciation Day is our way of thanking them for their loyalty, not to mention a truly fun day!”

Now that’s the company line and the national pitch. Locally, in Cherry Hill NJ at least, there’s even more going on. At the Cherry Hill Chick-fil-A, it’s customer appreciation week.

July 6th – Free Chicken Strips
July 7th – Free Peach Shake
July 8th – Spend $5 Play a Free Game
July 9th – Free Breakfast

Check out the details here!

They have a good time at Chick-fil-A Cherry Hill, great crew, great place, great food. And whenever you visit Chick-fil-A, don’t forget the fries! Mmmm... fries...


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Who Put the Freak in French Fries?

Who put the freak in French fries? Not Jack in the Box because this isn’t a real commercial. Maybe it was Jack Nicholson? Either way, enjoy.

Now I’m off to the drive-thru, for some real fries... Mmmm... fries...