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French Fries with Cheese Sauce CLINTON KELLY

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You can’t go wrong with homemade!

4 large Russet potatoes
Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
Kosher salt (to taste)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk (warmed)
8 ounces gruyere (grated)
16 ounces aged cheddar (grated)
8 ounces monterey Jack cheese (grated)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Peel and rinse the potatoes under cold water. Cut them into 4 or 5 vertical pieces, about 1/2-inch, thick, then cut them into sticks.
Place the sticks in a large bowl, cover with water, allow them to soak for 2-3 hours.
Fill a Dutch oven 1/3 of the way up with vegetable oil and heat to 300ºF. Line three baking sheets with paper towels.
Drain the potatoes and lay them out on the first paper towel-lined baking sheet. Blot the potatoes dry with additional paper towels, ensuring no water gets into the oil. Once the oil is heated to 300ºF, cook the potatoes in 4 batches, being sure not add too many at once. Cook the potatoes until soft, about 5 minutes per batch, there should be no color on the potatoes.
Remove the potatoes to a second paper towel-lined baking sheet. Once all of the potatoes are blanched at 300ºF, increase the heat of the oil to 400ºF. Fry the potatoes in 4 separate batches, until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the potatoes to the third paper towel-lined baking sheet. Season with salt immediately after removing from hot oil.
For the Cheese Sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and flour, whisk until combined. Slowly whisk in the milk, continue to whisk until the lumps from the flour disappear. Allow to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: For the store-bought solution use 2 pounds of frozen french fries and bake according to package instructions. Warm one 15-ounce jar of cheese sauce and drizzle over the top of the fries.

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