Alley Fries with Balsamic Glaze and Beginner’s bbq sauce

These fries were featured in my April 2012 Food Network magazine.  I knew I had to make them but, when my friend Jenna posted about craving french fries I knew I had to post it quickly!  (Knowing her pregnancy cravings may move on to bigger and better things ;)). 

What better day to make them than hubs b-day (yesterday) since yes, he wanted burgers and fries.  Of course, he went with plain old salted (and a few dashes of Tony Chachere’s creole spice) fries and I had the delicious alley fries.  His loss.  Poor man doesn’t know what he’s missing.  *Shakes head*. 

These fries are made at Ten Pin Alley and Spikes bowling alley in Hilliard, Ohio.  Chef Andy Shelley achieved the perfect balance by marrying two classic fry add-ons, cheese and vinegar.  Not your typical neon orange cheese sauce and malt vinegar.  These hand-cut fries come topped with melted gouda, a balsamic reduction and red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. 

Let’s begin shall we…

Alley Fries with Balsamic Glaze

2 c. balsamic vinegar
8 c. canola oil, peanut oil or liquid shortening for frying
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz. gouda cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Make the balsamic glaze: Bring the vinegar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes; keep warm or at room temperature. *

Make the fries:  Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until a deep-fryer thermometer registers 220 degrees.  Working in batches, add the potatoes and fry until slightly colored but still pale, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a baking sheet using a large slotted spoon; let cool.

Increase the heat to bring the oil temperature to 350 degrees.  Working in batches, return the fries to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet using a large slotted spoon.  Season immediately with salt and pepper. 

Preheat the broiler.  Transfer the fries to a heatproof platter or baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the cheese and broil until it melts, about 2 minutes.  Drizzle with some of the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. 

*I didn’t make my own fries.  J is the fry maker of the house and I wasn’t going to make him make his own fries.  He’s not picky about fries, so I skipped a big step and used frozen french fries.  The fast food ones that look like Mickey D’s and they were fine.  I don’t have time on my side after work, so if I can take a shortcut, you bet I will. 

You can be guaranteed that these will be on the menu again.  Balsamic reduction, kosher salt and red pepper flakes…yeah, baby!

Since we’re having burgers and I wanted bbq bacon burgers, I remembered my friend had sent me some homemade bbq sauce not long ago.  This was the perfect time to use it.  For my burgers I used 1 pound high quality ground sirloin and mixed in a generous dash of this…


I added one packet of this…new to me…yummy!  And of course A.1. to my burgers 🙂 (About 2 tablespoons).

My friend used a basic bbq recipe and tweaked it to his tastes and added a bit of heat.  I thought it was great.  Thanks Ward!

Here’s the recipe for a basic, simple bbq sauce (slightly altered)…

Beginner’s BBQ Sauce

2 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. ketchup
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. chili powder
1 t. ground cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 to 3/4 container chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced through a food processor

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat vegetable oil.  When hot, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes or until onion is soft.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cayenne and chipotle peppers.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15-20 minutes. 

Store in a canning jar while warm, the jar will self-seal. 

Hubby was happy with his dinner and I must admit…it was yummy with two slabs of cheese on the beefola!!  😉

About Suzie

My name is Suzie. I'm married and have a son in the Army. I enjoy cooking, country life, reading and my animals, hence the name of this blog. My two German Shepherds are underfoot anytime I'm cooking ;) Oh, I'm also addicted to Food Network Channel.
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13 Responses to Alley Fries with Balsamic Glaze and Beginner’s bbq sauce

  1. Jenna says:

    Oh HEAVEN! I want these fries so badly. Thank you for posting them! Now I can justify eating more of them, for the sake of trying a new recipe. =)

  2. Those fried sound awesome! I so have to try that! I’ll probably cheat and buy fries or else just make baked fries.

  3. Slim says:

    Just a heads up. I did use light Brown sugar because I thought the dark was a little to rich in flavor and didn’t want it overtaking the sauce. I do know its BBQ sauce and everyone likes their homemade sauce a little different.
    The fries sound delicious and the burgers I may try at another time. Lol, got so many ideas for burgers already, they do sound good though. Have a great weekend.

    • Suzie says:

      Yeah, you told me that I just typed brown sugar because I almost always use light…lol! The burgers were nice and juicy and that’s what I was going for. I know you’re always grilling up burgers and such 🙂 You have a great weekend too!

  4. Veronica says:

    I need those fries. Why aren’t they on my table right now? Waaaaaaa! lol They do sound delish–I think vinegar on fries is really good (I also like salt and vinegar potato chips) and this sounds really fancy. YUM.

    • Suzie says:

      Ohhhh…I like the same potato chips. I love potatoes slices and malt vinegar too. I have a future post that has your name on it V-Dawg…lol! 😉

  5. Rhonda says:

    That looks like a totally awesome birthday meal, especially your fries. Your husband is just like mine, never knows what he is missing because he won’t try anything new 🙂

    • Suzie says:

      Mine was even so, so tempted to try my fries. I kept saying just try one because he said “Oh, those do look good”. He eyed them up but, do you think he’d try even one? Nope! Goofy guys!! 😛

  6. biz319 says:

    You had me at cheese and chipotle!! Yummers! Happy belated bday to the hubs!

  7. Mary says:

    I would have loved a plate of those fries and the BBQ sauce is a winner for sure. I hope you had a great day. Blessings…Mary

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