Thursday, December 10, 2015

Week 50 - Junk Food

We're trying to eat healthier, especially now that the holidays and cooler weather are here, so the timing of the junk food cooking challenge wasn't exactly ideal. Although the first thing that came to mind when I heard junk food was chips, I decided to go in a different direction - fries (although I guess those could also be called chips...). We had really loved the Irish fries we got at Shake Shack around St. Patrick's Day, so I thought I would try that. Since I wasn't actually going to fry the fries, wasn't going to be able to make crinkle cut fries by hand, and didn't have horseradish in the cream, I knew it probably wasn't going to turn out as well as the Shake Shack version, but I thought I'd give it a try.

The ingredients for the Irish wedges were:

- 3 potatoes ($1.79)
- generous dollops of sour cream ($0.90)
- about 8 scallions ($0.45)
- 4 slices of bacon ($2.25)
- salt and pepper ($0.10)
- olive oil ($0.20)

The total for the wedges was approximately $5.69. Not too bad, but that's because potatoes are inexpensive. Normally we probably would have eaten this with something else, like panko chicken tenders, but we had eaten a lot of snacks before dinner and I had a pretty late lunch, so we just ate the fries for dinner.

For the fries themselves, I made wedges in a similar style (as far as the chopping and baking, but not the sauce) to the mustard-roasted potatoes we really liked. I tried something new this time, a bit of a "lazier" way of prepping the potatoes. Once I made the wedges, I coated them in olive oil and then laid them out on the 2 baking sheets. I then added the salt and pepper, flipped them over, and added more salt and pepper. I thought it might work better and add more flavoring than adding the salt and pepper with the oil and mixing it in advance. It sure did add more flavoring - too much. These fries were way too salty. They were also 1 wedge cut too thin in my opinion as they were overly crispy. Wedge fries are best when they're crispy on the outside but still have meaty potato on the inside, and these were way too thin. Oh well. Live and learn.

On top of the wedges, I piled on spoonfuls of sour cream, cut up cooked bacon (fried that up while the potatoes were baking), and a lot of scallions. Since they were the only real vegetable we were eating with dinner (after eating lots of fried onions as a pre-dinner snack), I just threw on as many as I could. The toppings were great together, and eaten together with the fries, saved the dish a little bit. Overall though, it was a disappointment. It probably would have tasted better to just make baked potatoes and top them with the sour cream, bacon, and scallions (other than the fact that there were green layers to peel off the potatoes because of how they were stored). I was 99% sure these wouldn't match up to the Shake Shack original, but I thought they would at least be better than this. Hopefully Shake Shack will have them again next March!

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