Venison Nacho Fries

20 May
There's lettuce on it, so that makes it healthy, right?

There’s lettuce on it, so that makes it healthy, right?

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m the worst. No like really, if the point of a blog is to create content, I am literally the worst.

Well, I still do ONE thing like a blogger; please believe my email signature still has redneckfresh.com in it! Right. So this is not a super fancy post, but it WAS a super delicious, cheap, and fast dinner. I had a bag of frozen (raw) french fries in my freezer for….ever and decided that it was probably time to go ahead and use some of them. And because of the redneck part of redneck fresh, I always have venison in the freezer, so the taco meat was easy.

Now, I’ve heard of what I made being called Irish nachos, or something like chili cheese fries…but the real part of this recipe that ought to interest you is the taco meat. It’s got nothing canned in it, it’s fast, it’s versatile, and it is delicious. There’s a bunch of it left in my fridge right now, and I made a taco salad with it for lunch today. I’m babbling. Let’s get to it.

stuff

taco meat

mmmmm.....frozen taters.

mmmmm…..frozen taters.

1 lb. ground meat (I used venison, you could use beef, chicken, turkey; since it’s taco meat you can get away with really lean meat because it doesn’t need to hold together)

1 T. vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped (I used romas because they were on sale and have a lot of moisture in them)

1 c. chicken stock

1 t. dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you’ve got it)

3 T. cumin

1 T. Lowry’s seasoned salt (am I allowed to use brand names? Well either way, it’s delicious.)

everything else (all these numbers
are -ish, make your own how you like them)

4 c. frozen french fries

enough oil to fry in

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I shred block cheese, it’s way cheaper and tastes better)

1/2 avocado

1/4 c. shredded lettuce

2 T. finely chopped fresh jalapeños

steps

Put a tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat and chop up your veggies. If you’re in a hurry, say because you don’t start making dinner till after 8 when you get home from a meeting, start the oil on medium heat then chop veggies in the order you’re going to add them to the pan, because it’ll save you time. You’ll throw the onion in first, then the garlic, then the jalapeño. The goal is caramelized, but not burned.

Cast iron skillet, how I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Cast iron skillet, how I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Once the jalapeño hit the pan I added the dried oregano and let it cook for a second before adding the tomato. I think putting dried seasonings into oil before there’s a lot of water added helps them to release the most aroma and flavor (Indian style cooking does this). After 30 or so seconds, I added the tomato and then the meat, seasoned salt, and cumin.

So here’s the deal with taco meat; it’s awesome. There’s a different consistency to it than there is to other browned meat or to chili. It’s somewhere between the two. So once the meat is cooked turn down the heat to just above low, and you’ll use the chicken stock to make it the consistency you want. I have a freezer full of chicken stock I made when I was making a bunch of King Ranch Chicken for a church event. I didn’t ever make stock for myself before pretty recently; it’s awesome. You should do it. But I digress. I ended up putting half a cup of chicken stock in, then starting the frying oil, and adding the rest of it while I was frying up french fries.

I wok enough that I won't make any wok puns in this caption.

I wok enough that I won’t make any wok puns in this caption.

I decided to use my wok when I was frying up the french fries; because of the shape of a wok you can deep fry in significantly less oil than with most pots, which is good. Also because of the shape they get hot really, really fast.

When you fry french fries, they’ll always turn out better if they go into the fryer frozen. It allows the outside to get crispy right when the inside finishes cooking. This is why a lot of times when you go to burger places that brag about their really fresh french fries, you’re disappointed with how they’re soft and greasy.

So here’s the deal; while you should throw your fries into the oil frozen, you should also not throw things like blocks of ice into hot oil, because crazy splatter, and such. But this blog is called REDNECK fresh, so sometimes we have to do things that are…redneck. So maybe the french fries had been in my freezer for like a year and frozen into chunks of ice and potatoes.

You shouldn’t do stupid things like throw ice into 350 degree oil. Seriously, it’s dangerous. But I’m both experienced AND foolish, so I did, and I had my video camera running as I ran away from said oil and ice.

Right. So after not burning your kitchen down, cook up your fries in small batches till they’re golden brown and you have enough of them to start building your nacho fries. There’s enough meat here to make healthy portions of fries for at least five people. Lay down a nice layer of fries, then spoon some taco meat over the top.

I've always wanted to use an online GIF builder. Thanks, nacho fries!

I’ve always wanted to use an online GIF builder. Thanks, nacho fries!

If your fries are still hot and you’ve kept your meat simmering, you can then grate cheese right over the top and it’ll melt nicely. It also helps to have your cheese close to room temperature when you grate it, again, for the melting.

Okay, so you’ve got your fries, meat, and cheese down, time to add your garnishes. Put some chopped fresh jalapeños, some chopped or sliced avocado (or guacamole if you’re feeling extra fancy), and some shredded lettuce on top, and you’re ready to go. I meant to put some chopped onions on mine, too, but I forgot. They would’ve been tasty.

Like I said earlier, the worthwhile part of this recipe is the taco meat. The nacho fries were awesome, but the taco meat really came out great with the fresh veggies. Let me know in the comments what your favorite thing to do with taco meat is.

Let’s eat!

–N

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