I've thought about naming this creation "Jersey Chili," a nod to the often off-menu item from our world famous diners here in the Garden State.
It started off with a chili recipe I found and used for Super Bowl a few weeks ago. It came out so well, and was relatively inexpensive, that I've made two more pots of it since.
Last night I was down to the last of my current chili batch, and I had an idea. I had some Burger King fries leftover from lunch (was going to use them for hash browns and eggs...that post will be coming shortly), but I decided to use them here. I love french fries in things -- growing up, there was a place down the road that put french fries on their cheesesteaks and it was heaven. Now, fast food fries do tend to go stale pretty fast, but throw them into a dry frying pan and you can toast them back to life. Never throw fries away again!
So, back to the chili... I warmed up my last bowlful in a small sauce pan on the stove while I toasted up the fries. When the chili was heated through, I put it in a bowl and covered it while I got everything else ready.
I happened to have some gravy powder packets on hand from my birthday party -- stuffing balls with gravy dipping sauce -- so I mixed that up in the sauce pan and continued toasting the fries. In the meantime I got out the sour cream and cheddar cheese from the fridge. There was just enough sour cream left for a nice dollop on top of the chili.
Fries were done, they went on top...
Then time for gravy...
Finally, the cheese. Now, typically disco fries are covered with shredded mozzarella. I know this might be controversial, but this IS Poor Man's Cupboard, and we do need to improvise with what we have on hand. And what I had on hand was the last of a package of shredded cheddar, so on it went.
Thirty to forty-five seconds under the broiler (make sure to watch...it can burn quickly), and we had perfection (with a parsley garnish).
The deep, rich taste of the chili, the melted cheddar, the crunchy fries smothered with gravy, the cool surprise of the sour cream -- this is is a bowl with complex flavored and textures that will absolutely delight you...especially before an impending storm.
And for dessert...