Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Random Tater Pic of the Day #61

This one comes from my good friend Andrea via FourSquare, hash browns from Waffle House, that she described as "Diced and covered and awesomely tasty."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

French Fry Diary 417: Gedilla Fries

I picked these up shortly after I got the Sensible Portions snacks. I was kinda expecting them to be similar but such was not the case.

First off, these "Fries" manufactured by Gedilla are made from actual potatoes, not corn or dehydrated potatoes. That's kinda a first for me when it comes to potato snacks that are not chips. They're also kosher year round.

Unlike the aforementioned Sensible Portions product, these are not straws or even fry shaped. These are flat, two-dimensional versions if anything. They could be used for dipping, but for the most part, they are too short for that.

I'm glad I got the barbeque flavor so they had some taste to them. Without it they would be bland as cardboard. The barbeque flavoring is barely hot but does leave a not pleasant aftertaste. I won't be getting these again.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hot Potato

My buddy Ray hipped me to this one. Blame him.

This is "Hot Potato" by Freestyle Fellowship.

Perhaps not work or family safe.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Love and Poutine

There's a new phenomenon going on at French Fry shops up in Canada - dating - especially at Poutini's House of Poutine. Read the full story here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

French Fry Diary 416: Herr's Potato Chips with Old Bay Seasoning

Frequently in potato chips circles, the various Herr's products are identified by color. The regular chips are blue foil, barbecue are gold foil, ripples are pink foil, and so on. Today, we're talking about the rare silver foil, Herr's Potato Chips with Old Bay Seasoning.

Old Bay is a frequent seasoning for the favorite fried food and sometimes for chips as well. What many folks don't know is that it's a brand name, and marketed by McCormick & Company. It's a blend of various herbs and spices mostly used for cooking seafood and specifically crabs. That's possibly where the crab taste comes from. It's good stuff. Sometimes I put it on my fries at home.

Here we have it on potato chips. It's a bit stronger than I would like but it does keep you from eating one right after another, just like, well, just like potato chips. That's not a complaint by the way, it's an advantage. A bag of chips lasts longer that way.

These chips are good for sandwiching as well, more fun on a burger than just putting Old Bay seasoning itself on it. I like these a lot for a change of chip pace. Rock on, silver foils with the red crabs on the bag. Thanks for bringing the taste of Maryland to the Philadelphia area.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

French Fry Diary 415: Krunchers! Mesquite Bar-B-Que

This is another snack pack of potato chips I picked up at a rest stop while road tripping. I'd never heard of Krunchers before, so I picked up a bag, specifically choosing the Mesquite Bar-B-Que kettle cooked potato chips. I saved them for later, in this case, almost a week later after I got home.

Upon checking out their website, I was surprised to find they were made by Snyder's of Hanover. It shouldn't have surprised me though, as I don't see them in my area any more either. And that's a shame as Snyder's makes good chips.

The chips themselves, besides having 0 transfats, are thick cut and very crunchy. Much crunchier than many kettle chips out there, and not greasy at all. Kettle cooked, so their shapes are excellent for dipping. The seasoning colors them a bright orange but they are not very hot at all. Very tasty. I would get these again, if I could find them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

French Fry Diary 414: Ott's Restaurant & Bar, Medford

I had heard quite a lot about Ott's Restaurant & Bar in Medford, and had received numerous recommendations for the place. After The Bride had been there several times for aftershows with her stage group The Pineland Players, we finally went to Ott's as part of a large party, coincidentally with the PP.

We were put in a large party room with a pool table and an oldies band outside blasting throughout the night. We had a table that was never wiped or cleaned the whole night despite a water pitcher condensating (or just plain leaking?) constantly. There was only one possibly inattentive, possibly frazzled waitress to handle well over twenty of us. We saw her occasionally throughout the night. And it also took quite some time to get utensils. This night did not represent the pinnacle of customer service. Of course this might have been because we were at a second not full table, and we were late, but still.

The Bride got waffle fries with her Reuben. They were golden brown and deep fried from frozen I bet. Still they were very tasty, but being as they were waffle fries, they could have used a bit of seasoning. I got the chicken tender platter that came with crinkle cut fries, also deep fried but they also had a baked quality. They could have been cooked as well as the waffle fries, but weren't. I got the honey teriyaki sauce (usually for the wings) for dipping. It was a bit overpowering, more teriyaki than honey, but still pretty good. Both the waffle fries and the crinkle cuts were pretty good.

Ott's also has sweet potato fries that come with honey for dipping (excellent choice), and onion rings that looked good at a distance, but I couldn't tell if they were breadcrumbed, Pankoed, or beer battered. They were thick, but as I said, they were across the room and I didn't order them so I can't really say. There are also Bay fries, crinkle cuts tossed in Old Bay, and Ott's claim to fame from recommendations - the Beef Fries, waffle fries smothered in homemade shredded roast beef, brown gravy and mozzarella cheese. I ordered none of these however. Nobody, not even me, can try that many different kinds of fries all at once.

The customer service was a bit lacking, but despite the simplicity of the fries I tried, they were very good, as I said. The company certainly made for an interesting and pleasant night, even if the service didn't. I might go back, maybe a smaller party in the main room would make for better service.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Lone Star State Fries

Lone Star State Fries are big and spicy, just like Texas, the Lone Star State. Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, divided, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 6 potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds), with skin on, 2 tablespoons peanut oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine paprika, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Seal bag and shake to mix.

Cut each potato in half then each half into 4 flat wedges. Add peanut oil and potatoes to seasoning in bag then close tightly and shake to coat well.

Spread potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until fork-tender. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and serve immediately.

Notes: Sure, you can peel the potatoes if you want, but we like the extra crunchiness of the skin. Besides, the skin is good for us!

Source: Mr. Food

Thursday, September 06, 2012

French Fry Diary 413: Zapp's Potato Chips

I had been coming to the Market Café at our local Wegmans for regular Write-Ins with the South Jersey Writers Meetup. As the meetings are around dinner time, folks usually get snacks. I had determined to also do so on my next trip and kill two birds with one stone - get some fries at the Market Café and review them for the blog. The fries had been taunting me on previous visits, but tonight there were nowhere to be seen. I went for the next best thing.

After getting the prerequisite Mexican Coke (all the sugar, all the caffeine, all the good stuff), I went over to look at the potato chip selection. The only thing different that jumped out were a variety of Zapp's chips. If you check out their website, you'll see they make much of their Cajun flavor and crunch. I settled on a small bag of their regular flavor New Orleans Kettle Style.

They were a bit crunchier than most kettle chips yet not as thick I noticed. I did not however notice anything different or extra about the taste or flavor. This isn't a bad thing, as I enjoyed the chips, but based on the hype, I expected something more. They would be terrific for dipping.

Perhaps I might try one of the other types available at Wegmans next time like Jalapeno or Salt and Vinegar. Sadly, the flavors that had me excited on the website were not to be seen at Wegmans. I would have loved to given Spicy Cajun Crawtaters, or Baby Back Ribs, or Voodoo, or, and you know me, especially the Mesquite Bar-B-Que. Ah well, maybe next time.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

French Fry Diary 412: Ian's Alphatots

Now I've talked about Ian's Natural Foods before, specifically their wonderful Panko Onion Rings. This time I'm looking at another of their products - Alphatots.

Alphatots are one of those potato products that are shaped, sort of a hybrid of extruded or formed potato mash, but with a crisp shell. In the case of the Alphatots from Ian's, they are formed into small letters.

Allergen free alphabet shaped Potato Fries. No wheat or gluten, no milk or casein, no eggs, nuts or soy. Ian's has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives... ever. And yeah, that's their trademark after that snazzy but true slogan.

This is a fun way to eat your fries, and maybe a fun way to teach young kids their letters, but much like alphabet soup or Alpha-Bits cereal, it's almost impossible to find enough, or the right, letters to spell anything specific for a cute effect. I'm sure it would have taken several bags to spell out 'French Fry Diary' if I wanted to.

They cook at a very high heat, 475 degrees, the highest I've ever seen for a frozen fries product, and they actually cooked quite quickly, some overdone by the time suggested in the directions. Crispy on the outside and soft and hot on the inside, they were very good. Eat 'em while they're hot though, they're not so great when cold or reheated.

Like Ian's Onion Rings they definitely required seasoning and were good for dipping. As usual I did barbecue sauce. They are a nice change of pace for fries from a quality company.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012

French Fry Diary 411: Ore-Ida Grillers

These new for the summer frozen fries from the fine folks at Ore-Ida - Grillers, Golden Thick Cut Potatoes - not only promise to give you that right off the barbecue grill flavor, but can actually be cooked on the grill. While this is no easy trick, it is a tricky statement.

There are directions on the bag for cooking these extra thick crinkle cut natural cut potato slices on the grill, but it's a gas grill, where you can control the temperature. As I have no gas grill, I had to skip this attempt.

As tempting as grill marks on a potato slice are, I baked them instead. The directions were pretty standard, 450 degrees for 14-16 minutes, so I was worried they might not cook through. As I said, these Grillers are very thick, almost a half inch thick. Time will tell, I guess.

I do like one of the two topping suggestions made on the bag. The Jack Daniels BBQ sauce I'm down with, the shredded cheese, bacon bits and sour cream for a loaded baked potato taste, not so much. But that's me, I'm sure it would work for those that dig that. I did get my BBQ sauce out however.

Once done, the slices look very crisp almost crunchy. But that is just on the outside, inside they are soft, hot, and almost mashed potato-like. Most of them are very good but some of the bigger slices have the same problem as a medium rare steak, the middle is raw. But as I said, most of them are well cooked and very good. And the BBQ sauce definitely helped. Good stuff.