Saturday, February 26, 2011

Psych's Fries Quatro Queso Dos Fritos

Last night, my friends and I watched a particularly hilarious episode of Psych called Truer Lies. In it, guest star Jonathan Silverman plays Lyin' Ryan, a compulsive liar. In one scene, he is being questioned by the police regarding a murder he's suspected of committing. As protagonists Shawn and Gus look on from behind a two-way mirror, this is how the scene unfolds...

Lyin' Ryan: The night before, I went to this restaurant to get a basket of these things called Fries Quatro Queso Dos Fritos. You know, the ones where they inject potatoes with a four cheese mixture, fry them three quarters of the way, pull them out, batter them, fry them again, and then serve them with bacon and an ancho chili sour cream. Anyway, as I was sitting there, a car speeds right through the storefront across the street. It makes such a loud noise, I had to turn my head and look and that is when I overheard the guy with the curly-Q's on his face tell the other guy at the corner table about the assassination plot.
Shawn: Can this be true?
Gus: No way.
Shawn: I mean, is it even possible?
Gus: I couldn't imagine it.
Shawn: There's no way you can prepare a fry like that. That'd be way too much for the human palate to manage.
Gus: It would be a flavor seizure.

Screen shot from the episode...

Oh, yes it is possible! Later in the episode, the twosome actually go to the restaurant where Lyin' Ryan ordered these, and try it themselves. Immediately, my friends and I knew we had to make these "Twice Fried Fries with Four Cheeses" ourselves. We Googled and found that a couple people had made these, but we didn't like their methods. And although Lyin' Ryan describes these as being battered, in the episode they definitely appear to be breaded as opposed to battered. We took this as an oversight by Ryan (who is a compulsive liar anyway), and decided to bread ours instead, as it obviously was on the show. We used regular dried bread crumbs, because that is how it was made in the episode, but next time I would tweak the recipe and use panko instead because it's much crunchier! We also used cayenne pepper because we didn't have ancho chili powder, but you can use whichever one you have on hand. Shawn, from Psych, suggests trying these with lemon garlic aioli, but we'll let you be the judge of that :) Oh, and P.S., it doesn't travel well! Muahahahahaaa!!

Fries Quatro Queso Dos Fritos
Makes 1 dozen

Peanut or canola oil, for frying
12 small round potatoes, such as baby white potatoes, scrubbed clean, skin-on
Kosher salt
About 1 cup shredded 4 cheese Mexican blend (or use your own blend of Mexican-style cheeses, the sharper the better)
1/3 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (or panko)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper

Bacon and Chili Sour Cream:
16 oz sour cream
2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish if desired
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or ancho chili powder
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Fill a Dutch oven 2-inches full with the oil and heat to 350 to 375 degrees F.

With a paring knife, lightly score 1 potato on its side and then slice it in half perpendicular to the score mark. This will help you know exactly which way to replace the potato halves. Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to scoop out the inside of each potato half, leaving no more than 1/4-inch of potato inside the skin.

Season the inside of each half with kosher salt, and then densely pack each half with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese (that's about 1 to 2 packed tablespoons per potato), depending on the size of the potato and its cavity (pack the cheese really well because when it melts it will shrink).

Place the halves back together, using the score mark as a guide, and secure with a couple toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Using a slotted spoon or spider skimmer, gently place a few of the stuffed potatoes at a time into the hot oil. Fry for about 8 to 10 minutes or until tender (a toothpick should be able to pierce through the potatoes easily). Remove fried potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining potatoes in batches. Carefully remove the toothpicks, and allow the potatoes to cool slightly before proceding.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by stirring together the sour cream, sliced scallions, and cayenne pepper.

Fill one bowl with flour, one bowl with the beaten egg, and one bowl with the bread crumbs. Season them all with salt and pepper, and season the bread crumbs with some cayenne pepper as well. This will be your breading station. One by one, dredge the potatoes in the flour mixture, shake off excess flour, coat with beaten egg, allow excess to drip off, and then finally coat with the bread crumbs. Set aside on a plate until ready to fry.

When all the potatoes have been breaded, and the oil is back to the correct temperature (350 to 375 degrees F), use the slotted spoon or spider skimmer once again to gently lower the breaded potatoes into the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt to season.

Serve Fries Quatro Queso Dos Fritos with the chili sour cream and crumbled bacon, and garnish with more scallions if desired.

This one was a little weak on the cheese, definitely pack it in there for a super cheesy bite :)


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