Want to know a favorite guilty indulgence of mine? Well, I’ll tell you anyhow…chili cheese fries. Yes, I know they are bad for me and yes, I know the fat and calories from one small plate isn’t worth it, but that doesn’t stop me from indulging in them a few times a year.
Today I was craving chili cheese fries. It’s been so long since I’ve had them and even though this beautiful warm weather doesn’t usually put me in the mood for comfort food like that, I couldn’t shake the craving. So I decided to try to re-create that taste at home. And while I was at it, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try to make it just a teeny, tiny bit healthier too.
I was pleasantly surprised at how successfully I pulled it off. I don’t know if it was much healthier than I’d get at a restaurant. However, I used diced potatoes instead of French fries, so there must be something redemptive in that fact. (Although if you make this and want to use homemade fries or a bag of frozen ones, I certainly wouldn’t blame you.)
Chili Cheese Potato Casserole
- 2 pounds potatoes, diced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 14.5oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 T. chili powder
- 2 t. cumin
- 2 t. garlic powder
- 1 t. salt
- 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
- 2 T. butter or margarine
- 2 T. flour
- 1 1/3 c. milk
- 2 c. shredded cheese, separated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place diced potatoes in a large pot 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until fork tender. Drain and pour into a 13×9 casserole dish.
2. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion. Drain. Add tomato sauce and crushed or diced tomatoes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3. While the chili simmers, melt 2 T. butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 c. cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes in the casserole dish.
5. Top with the chili. (If you are cooking this dish during stolen moments, let the chili cool before adding to casserole dish.)
6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 c. shredded cheese over the chili. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.
Can I let you in on a little secret that really works for me in the kitchen? Here it is –
My husband tends to shove me (lovingly, of course) out of the way whenever I am shredding cheese. He does it much faster and easier than I ever could, so I gladly let him.
Stop by We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday.