Cast Iron French Fries with Chili and Cheese
Nothing is as fun as chili cheese fries for sharing around the campfire. Made with leftover campfire chili, these crispy fries are smothered in chili and topped with cheese for a fork worthy campfire dinner!
For the Dutch Oven Campfire Chili:
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon espresso chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dark chili powder or ancho powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 8-ounce beer
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1 pound prepared pulled pork
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- Juice from 1 lime
For the Fries:
- ½ cup oil for cooking
- 1½ lbs pound Idaho® russet potatoes, washed, dried and sliced into even wedges
- Garlic seasoning blend
- 4 ounces crumbled cotija or queso fresco
- 2 tablespoons crema
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
- ¼ cup grape tomatoes, sliced thin
- 2 scallions, minced
Make the Dutch Oven Chili
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add the onion, and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
- Stir in the tomato paste to coat the veggies.
- Add cumin through brown sugar.
- Whisk in the beer slowly, scraping up any browned bits as needed on the bottom.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, leftover pulled pork, and black beans. Bring to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and add the juice from the lime.
- Cover the Dutch oven to keep the chili warm.
Make the Fries:
- In a large deep bottomed fish fry pan, Dutch oven, or high rimmed cast iron skillet, heat the oil until it is just smoking and looks shiny.
- Toss the potatoes with salt and garlic seasoning.
- Carefully, place a single layer of fries in the hot oil. Allow the fries to cook, browning, on each side, rotating them as often needed.
- Remove, once browned on all sides, to a paper towel-lined plate. Cover and repeat as needed until all the potatoes are cooked through.
- Season with a touch more of salt and garlic seasoning.
- If using leftover campfire chili, reheat the chili in a Dutch oven or large skillet before assembling.
- Arrange the hot fries on a plate making a divot in the center.
- Spoon the warmed chili over top and garnish with crumbled cotija cheese, crema, sliced jalapeños, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro.
- Serve as individual portions or family-style.
Note: To cook the fries, I used a large cast-iron fish fry pan on a duel burner Coleman camp stove for even and level frying. When frying, always use caution.