Friday, January 23, 2015

Grilled Smoky Cheddar Potatoes Packs


This one comes from Betty Crocker by way of the Just-Potatoes Yahoo! Group.

Grilled Smoky Cheddar Potatoes Packs 4 servings

Ingredients: 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces), 2 tablespoons Betty Crocker® Bac~Os® bacon flavor chips, 2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tablespoons)

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Place potatoes on 30x18-inch piece of heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle with salt. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon chips. Wrap foil securely around potatoes; pierce top of foil once or twice with fork to vent steam. Cover and grill foil packet, seam side up, 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 45 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with onions.

See the whole recipe here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

French Fry Diary 643: More Crisps from the UK via Canada


You might remember I got a wonderful gift from my big sister a few months back, who in turn got these chips from her friend Kelly in Toronto who had recently visited the UK. Here are the rest of those chips.

Walkers Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips - full name Distinctively Salt & Vinegar with Real British Vinegar - The Bride went right for them, as she really likes salt and vinegar chips. She liked them, stating, "Salt and vinegar chips are good." Ain't she cute? I asked for one, and she replied, "You're not going to like them." She was right, but not in the way that say some of the Lay's Do Us A Flavor chips were not liked. They were okay, but not my cup of tea, or um, even chips.

Speaking of Do Us A Flavor, another of the bags from Kelly was from the UK's version of the Lay's (Walkers there) contest. These potato chips, or crisps, were flavored thus: Scrumptiously Smoky Bacon with Pork from Norfolk. Wow, that's specific. When the bag was opened there was a very pleasant smoky aroma, a good sign. They were quite good, and reminded me of the chips I'd had a while back at the British Chip Shop, only better. The Bride likened them to Bacos. Thumbs up for these.

The bag o' chips, I mean crisps, are from The Real McCoy's and are advertised as 'man crisps,' thick with deep ridges full of flavor. The flavor in question is Flame Grilled Steak. Biting into them, they have more of a thick crunch than might appear from the pics. I don't really taste the steak, and neither did The Bride, but they did have a pleasant smokey flavor like the other meat chip on this review. The company also puts out Flavors like Thai Sweet Chicken and Sizzling King Prawn among others.

Again special thanks to my sister Bobbie and Kelly for sending these along.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Joanne's Bacon Hash Browns


A week or two ago I featured a recipe for Bacon Hash Browns, which actually proved very popular on Pinterest. It also inspired friend and fellow South Jersey Writers' Group member Joanne Costantino to actually attempt the recipe.

Not only was it a hit with her family, she saved a few for me and brought them to the next SJWG function. They were indeed delicious. Thank you, Joanne!

You can check out Joanne's blog here and Follow her on Twitter here.

Also please Follow French Fry Diary on Pinterest here and check out our discussion group on Facebook here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #183



Do not anger the Potato Clan. More Awesome Passive Aggressive Notes Left for Jerk Drivers can be found here. Thanks to Marni for hipping me to this on the Facebook.

Speaking of which, French Fry Diary can be found on Facebook here, and also on Pinterest here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

French Fry Diary 642: LongHorn Steakhouse


We've been here before. It might not seem like it, but we have. The deep fried breaded onion snack followed by beef is a gig we've done before, both at the Outback and the questionably named Texas Roadhouse. Even the Lone Star Steakhouse, sadly no longer in our immediate area, used to do that.

It makes me wonder if all three are the same restaurant, but no, each onion is trademarked. So each restaurant is just a competitive twin. Are those onion things really that good? Yes, decadent, but good.

My buddy and podcast partner Ray and I had been making an accidental tour of steakhouses lately, so the LongHorn Steakhouse seemed as good a place to go next as any. I was a bit tentative as the Cherry Hill location has gotten some bad word of mouth. I decided we should see for ourselves.

That is of course, once we got there. Ray set his GPS to the Lone Star Steakhouse, which as I mentioned is nowhere to be found around here. It took a while for us to meet, obviously. While the parking lot was full, the dining room was not. Not sure if that's good or bad.

The menu, supposedly brand new at the time, was huge, and thick as a textbook. The decor was very wooden and old school. There were some cowboy and western motifs, but the big attraction (or at least what my eyes went to) was the huge chandelier made of antlers. Don't know if they're real, but wow.

We got the Texas Tonion, trademark, but it doesn't need the trademark. It really doesn't need it. It's nothing like its counterparts, it's just a long plate of just meh onion petals. For the price, a little over seven bucks, comparative to the Bloomin' Onion, I feel ripped off. An order of onion petals, and only okay onion petals for that matter, is not worth the price of the exotic wheel of deep fried death and goodness I expected. I was not happy.

My chopped steak came with thinner longer onion straws. They were better than the steak. The fries were natural cut regular cuts, only warm but okay. The baked potato was very hot and very good. There's not much else to say about the food. The service was okay. There was nothing though that I would come back for, even though Ray said the LongHorn near him was better. That's too far though. And I'm still a little steamed about that Texas Tonion...

Friday, January 16, 2015

French Fry Diary 641: Trader Joe's South African Style Potato Chips


A recent trip to Trader Joe's I discovered something new in the snack section, a mysterious black bag of potato chips I had never seen before. Officially titled Trader Joe's Potato Chips with South African Style Seasoning, the package promised 'classic potato chips with an exotic smoked flavor.' Well, I'm down with that, into the cart and home they went.

A glance at the ingredients and the back of the bag hype revealed they weren't all that far off from standard barbecue chips. They had paprika, chili powder, garlic, sea salt for a little extra something different, and then things got interesting as they also had seasonings like basil and parsley. This seasoning mix is usually used in fish or poultry when grilled, called in Afikaans, the braai, as barbecues are a social custom in South Africa, much like it is here. How exotic it actually is, I guess we'll find out in the tasting.


Upon opening the bag a not unpleasant aroma rushed out, not unlike barbecue flavor potato chips with maybe some (surprise) basil and parsley thrown in. The actual taste is quite different. I expected a barbecue chip but that doesn't quite come across. It's a big thin crisp chip but the flavor is overpowered by the basil, parsley, and paprika, with just a slight after burn. These are excellent dipping chips for cold dips like ice cream.

These are good chips with a big unique taste, and certainly more palatable than many of the Do Us A Flavor contestants the last two years. Interesting, tasty, and even a bit addictive, these South African potato chips are definitely worth trying.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bacon Hash Browns


These Bacon Hash Browns come from the Gourmet Traveller blog.

Bacon Hash Browns, makes 12

Ingredients: 3 medium potatoes, 1 small onion, 3 rashers streaky bacon, chopped, 1 tbsp self-raising flour, 1/2 tbsp milk, 1 egg, freshly ground black pepper, vegetable oil (for deep-frying), sea salt

Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes and onions and place in a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the bacon and add to the same bowl, together with the flour, milk, egg and a good grinding of black pepper. Mix well to combine.

Heat 3 inches of your oil in a deep pan and place heaped tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture in to fry – you will need to do them in two batches. Deep fry for 2 minutes until the edges start to turn golden then flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain on kitchen towels and season liberally with salt.

Eat immediately, or keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

You can see the full recipe here

Friday, January 09, 2015

Random Tater Pic of the Day #182



Friend and frequent French Fry Diary contributor Cindy sent this one along from The Keg Room in New York City.

"Hot homemade potato chips at the Keg Room across the street from our hotel in NYC. Total yum. Not at all salty with a spicy blue cheese dipping sauce. Awesome. They totally smoke the Friars Nook."

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Albert Bartlett Rooster Potatoes Commercial Revolution


Recently potatoes have taken front and center place in television advertising. Actress Marcia Cross, the flaming redhead best known for her roles in "Desperate Housewives," and a decade before that "Melrose Place," is at the center of this ad campaign.

Albert Bartlett has introduced a new (well, not so new, but new here) red potato to the United States, neither Red nor Russet, the Rooster Potato is one of their prizes and they're pushing it hard, on TV. They also market the Anya, Blonde Bella, and Sundance Potato varieties.



The above was the introductory ad of this campaign, and the full commercial, looking every bit like it's selling conditioner, is here. Enjoy.