Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week 23 - Concession Foods

When you hear concession foods, what do you think of? The first things that come to mind for me are all fried, especially every variation of fried potato (mmm, garlic fries). The theme for Week 23 was concession foods, and I wanted to do some version of fries, but I don't deep fry at home. I decided to go with chili cheese fries, but a healthier take on them - chili cheese (baked) potato wedges.


I didn't follow a recipe for this challenge, but came up with it on my own for the most part, just making some chili, wedge fries cut like the ones I made before, and topping it with some garnishes.

For this dish, I used:

- about 3 lbs of potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into wedges ($1.19)
- olive oil for sauteing ($0.20)
- 1 lb of ground turkey ($4.10)
- 1 can of chili beans ($0.58)
- 1 can of small red beans ($0.80)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes ($0.75)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.60)
- 5 cloves of garlic ($0.08)
- black pepper ($0.05)
- chili powder ($0.15)
- onion powder ($0.05)
- garlic powder ($0.05)
- cumin ($0.05)
- salt ($0.05)
- red pepper flakes ($0.05)
- shredded Mexican cheese ($1)
- cilantro ($0.50)
- scallions ($0.50)

The total for the chili cheese fries was about $10.75, not too bad for dinner for 2 that includes a substantial amount of meat. It helped that we got a 5 pound bag of potatoes on sale to get dinner to that price!

Making the Chili Cheese Fries

The recipe had a bunch of different components. First up, the chili. I pretty much made this off the top of my head, tasting as I went along. Of course, had I blogged about other times I made chili on time, maybe I would have just redone the halftime chili I made before that we liked. Basically I cooked the turkey with the olive oil, then added the onions and garlic, and then once those cooked for a bit, added everything else on the list (other than the potatoes, cheese, cilantro, and scallions). I cooked it for a while. Not sure exactly how long, but at least as long as it took to bake the potato wedges.

As for the potatoes, I employed the same wedge roasting system that I did when making the mustard-roasted potatoes last fall. Instead of the mustard sauce though, I just tossed them in some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of chili powder. They took about 45-50 minutes to bake using the same method I used last time.

Once the potatoes and the chili were both done, it was time to assemble our version of chili cheese fries. First, a layer of potato wedges topped with a couple of heaping spoonfuls of chili.

And then the garnishes - cheese, scallions, and cilantro.

Overall, these "fries" were good, but not amazing. We liked them and they were healthier, but they were definitely not the guilty pleasure you get from the concession stands.

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