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!! 😉