Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chili Cheese Fries

Yes, all of this is homemade. Drool.

Chili is the perfect cold weather food and French fries are the perfect American comfort food, so it only makes sense that combining these two things and topping it with a healthy amount of cheese is pretty frickin' delicious. This is a vegetarian recipe but my meat-eating boyfriend will attest that you don't miss the meat. But if you really want meat in it? Brown some ground whatever in the pan after the onions.

Black beans
Kidney beans
Bell pepper
Diced tomatoes
Tomato paste
Vegetable Oil
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes (or chili powder or anything spicy)
Dried basil

One of the best smells your kitchen will ever experience.

Dice the onion and garlic (I seriously love garlic and it's good for you, so I used a whole one) and cook in a thin layer of olive oil on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, or just until the onion starts to look transparent. Or when your kitchen smells amazing.

Spices make the chili.

Add the can of diced tomatoes, chilies (or a can of tomatoes with chilies to save a step), corn and whatever spices you want to throw in there. Think basil, chili powder, red pepper flakes, that Trader Joe's Smoke Seasoning I mentioned earlier, basil and anything else along those lines. Stir it all up.

The texture part of chili.

Add about a half can of tomato paste (keep in mind that a can of tomato paste is very small - see the ingredients photo) and the bell pepper. Make sure the paste is blended well and taste the mix so far. If the paste taste is too strong add more seasonings.


Now add the beans and cilantro! It should be starting to look like chili. The mixture is supposed to cook on low-medium for an hour, but we got impatient and ate after 30 minutes. 

 The ever versatile potato.

This is a really convenient time to make the French fries. I included a picture, but for a reminder on how to cook them (chop, fry, dry, salt) go here.


Spoon the chili mixture onto a plate of fries, top with cheese and chopped cilantro and eat while the cheese is melting. Homemade chili cheese fries really are so satisfying. And the great thing about making your own chili is that it costs like $5 and there's a ton of it leftover the next day (when the flavors really come together), especially if you spoon it over some rice or corn bread. You can top chili with sour cream, avocado or whatever tickles your fancy.

And now I'm hungry again.

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