Carb heaven! 21 loaded fries recipes to try at home – from kimchi to spicy sausage – The Guardian
French fries transcend fashion. Food trends come and go but chips persist as a source of comforting joy, something we all badly need this winter. For many, that will mean sun-gold chips doused in salt and vinegar, ketchup or mayo. But why stop there?
With budgets tight, loaded fries are currently enjoying a bounce as a relatively affordable, filling treat. Last year, Burger King introduced jazzed-up fries (topped with cheese sauce and/or bacon bits), as did several big-name pub chains. In that same period pub chip sales were up 15%, according to analysts Lumina Intelligence. These brash stacks of top-loaded fries, a street food staple, are going mainstream.
Not that you need to go out to enjoy loaded fries. Think of them as hot nachos: a comforting carb-y base, where toppings are limited only by your imagination and what ingredients you have handy. “It’s in desperate situations the most creative toppings come about,” says Meriel Armitage, chef-owner at Club Mexicana in London.
The Guardian asked the experts to share their wisdom.
Rules? There are no rules. These are loaded fries. From heaped skinny fries, which invite runnier toppings to drip through their gaps, to experiments with loaded roast potatoes (shout-out to Manchester’s Butty Shop), any form of crispy potato works.
Whether using frozen oven fries or triple-cooking chips from scratch (a tip from Welsh BBQ wizards Hang Fire: use chicken stock when first parboiling your potatoes), a robust, well-bronzed chip is preferable. Undercooked chips too readily absorb moisture and, “once loaded, turn to mulch,” warns Zoë Perrett, co-owner of burger brand Slap & Pickle.
“Pile it high does not apply,” says Perrett, who prefers an even layer of “crisp, well-drained” fries in a shallow vessel. Go high and under the topping you may find “a layer of nude, probably soggy fries”, she warns.
You can avoid that issue by patiently layering fries and sauces. Either way, distribute toppings “evenly, so there’s a bit in every bite”, says Perrett. Finely dice them, if necessary. Add any sauce or stew-like topping first, as “edible glue” to which other ingredients will adhere. Thicker, creamier, reduced sauces work better than watery gravies. You want toppings that will sit on fries, …….
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