Cheap Recipe: Bacon Cheddar Fries

12 Aug

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.

This quick side dish is a savior for dressing up simple go-to meals like frozen corn dogs.

This quick side dish is a savior for dressing up simple go-to meals like frozen corn dogs.

I recently came across a fantastic cookbook published by Taste of Home titled “Dinner on a Dime” that is full of practical, attractive dishes that can be made on the cheaps. Among the zillions of pages I flagged in the book to try out, these Bacon Cheddar Fries caught my immediate interest as a solution to a very common issue around my house–dressing up cheap, frozen prepared meals like corn dogs (pictured) or reheated meat entrees.

My particular dinner goals often revolve around making an entire plate look kid-friendly so my very picky two-year-old will sample his meal before losing interest. These fries were fantastic in that capacity, and I have to thank Taste of Home for the great idea, and with only four ingredients in the recipe, I’ll definitely be tapping this one again in the future.

A 20-oz. bag covered a foil-lined cookie pan just right.

A 20-oz. bag covered a foil-lined cookie pan just right.

Begin with a frozen bag of French fries. The original recipe calls for a 32-oz. bag, but since I was only cooking for three I purchased a 20-oz. bag of shoestring (skinny) French fries from our local Save-A-Lot and then eyeballed the rest of the ingredients rather than recalculating measurements. Heat the pre-prepared French fries according to oven directions on package.

Turkey bacon works just as well as the real thing.

Turkey bacon works just as well as the real thing.

While fries are baking, heat small skillet over medium heat and shred three (3) slices of bacon into the pan. I am a big fan of turkey bacon because it shreds more easily, heats more evenly, and results in way less grease to spatter all over the place. Plus, it’s usually a little cheaper than quality pork bacon. And when I’m just using it as an ingredient rather than a main attraction, I really can’t tell the difference between it and the regular stuff.

Chop some green onions while you're waiting for the fries to heat.

Chop some green onions while you're waiting for the fries to heat.

Cook bacon shreds thoroughly and remove from heat. Before fries have completed their initial oven trip, chop about three (3) green onions into very small pieces. (I think you could probably just substitute a tablespoon or so of chives from the spice rack if you didn’t have any fresh green onions on hand.) Remove fries from oven and transfer to broiler-proof, sided dish. (I used a 9″x13″ glass cake pan.) Because the fries have already cooked completely, you don’t have to worry about spreading them in a single layer the second time around.

Transfer baked fries into boiler-safe dish or cake pan.

Transfer baked fries into broiler-safe dish or cake pan.

Once the fries are spread evenly into the broiler pan, sprinkle top with cooked bacon, green onions, and finely shredded cheddar cheese. (The original recipe called for 1 cup cheese, but if you’re using less than 32 oz. of fries, I recommend reducing that amount. I used about 3/4 cup.) Toss fries lightly to even out toppings if desired.

Hello, my pretties...

Hello, my pretties...

Set oven to broil setting and place pan on top rack for approximately two minutes, or until cheese has begun to melt. Remove from oven and serve immediately. I recommend using salad tongs as serving utensils for the fries, particularly the hinged variety (pictured).
Salad tongs have met their ultimate match with this recipe.

Salad tongs have met their ultimate match with this recipe.

 

Serve with your favorite low-maintenance dinner and enjoy the pleased expressions and compliments from your family as they eat!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: