Potatoes and cheese-two of my favorites. I have this fantasy that if it were not for potatoes and cheese, I would never have to work out! (I know that is not true, but the thought humors me some days.) I like to refer to fries as a necessary splurge. A treat I must have once in a while. Sometimes I can even get hubby to split an order. Bonus points for the separation of guilt, but I lose points for he has will power over fries and I have none. He can eat a handful and be done. I eat them until they are all gone! Just because hubby and I don’t agree on how many fries one should eat in a sitting, doesn’t mean we don’t agree on how many mashed potato “fries” we should eat. That decision is an equally divided one in this house with his and her sauces, of course. Mashed potato fries just seem healthier when eating them while watching a game!
This recipe was an attempt one day to feed my necessary splurge for fries when all I had on hand was mashed potatoes-and it worked! It is a quick recipe (see below for printout) and a hearty snack for a football game.
Loaded Mashed Potato Fries: Preheat oven to 450• Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spray paper with olive oil or non-stick spray. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup leftover cold mashed potatoes, (already loaded? A plus!) 1 cup of all-purpose flour, and 4 TBSP melted butter. Add in desired mix-ins (optional). I add in 2 TBSP cooked crumbled bacon and 2 TBSP chopped jalapenos. Once combined into a dough, it is time to get hands dirty. Knead dough a few times. If dough is a little too dry, add a 1/2 tsp more butter, jalapeno juice, or sour cream.
Now you have a choice to make:
1-Take dough by teaspoonful’s and roll out individually into sticks (like making play-dough snakes as a child-got a child near, let them have a little fun). A little longer process.
2.-Turn dough onto a lightly floured board or workspace. Roll out dough until thin, about 1 mm. Using pastry wheel or knife, cut dough into strips, much like Cheese Straws Quicker process and the one I chose today.
Put strips or (snakes) onto prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle strips with Cajun seasoning or choice of seasoning and crumbled, grated, or shredded cheese. I use whatever cheese I have on hand. Today it will be a variety. Crumbled blue cheese on some, shredded cheddar on others, and grated Parmesan on remaining strips. Spray strips with olive oil or non-stick spray, optional but will help make them crisp. I love crispy “fries”.
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: Think about what spices and flavors are already in your mashed potatoes? Add more of those ingredients or choose ingredients to compliment flavor. Have plain mashed potatoes? You have a clean slate. Mexican style? Season with chili powder or taco seasoning taco seasoning add jalapenos with Colby jack cheese and salsa for dip. Italian? Add Italian seasoning or basil, black olives, sundried tomatoes with Parmesan cheese and spaghetti sauce for dip. If you like Indian samosas add garam masala or curry powder and cooked peas with chutney as a dip. Have a hungry crowd? Add in cooked ground sausage or beef. (like a leftover hamburger!) This recipe is very versatile for mix-ins and cheeses so it is great for using up odds and ends. Fries can also be baked ahead of time. Stored in refrigerator and reheated at 450• for 10 minutes.
FOOD FUN: Get the family together in the kitchen and do the Mashed Potato Dance. If you don’t know it, it goes something like this… a repost from the dailymotion http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7zuop_1962-dee-dee-sharp-mashed-potato-tm_music Now that was fun and a good way to work off some mashed potato fry calories!!