How do you take a food truck and carnival classic and transform it into home fare? Simple. You put Chef Lisa on it and she creates these off-the-charts delicious Texas Chili Cheese Fries, a meal in itself. Spice-coated, crispy baked (not fried!) French fries are smothered in a ribbon-winning, hearty homemade chili, sprinkled with sharp cheddar cheese and finished with a spicy pico de gallo (tomatoes and jalapeños and parsley!) fresh salsa. —bitememore
freshly ground black pepper
medium yellow onion, diced
large garlic cloves, minced
red bell pepper, chopped
(28oz) can diced tomatoes
(19oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
small jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
For the chili, in a small bowl, mix together chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne. Set aside. In a large pot, brown ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the meat. Drain off the fat and set beef aside. Using the same pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, red and green peppers, stirring about 5-6 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add tomato paste and the seasoning mix and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes, salsa, kidney beans and browned beef. Lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
For the fries, preheat oven to 425ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut baking potatoes into ½-inch thick matchsticks. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, chili powder, paprika and pepper. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden and crisp, tossing a few times during cooking.
For the pico de gallo, combine tomatoes, jalapeno, parsley, lime juice and salt in a small bowl. Toss to combine and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble, preheat broiler to high. Place fries on an oven safe dish, top with chili and sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over top. Place under the broiler to melt cheese. Remove from oven, top with pico de gallo and serve immediately.