I had a craving for chili cheese fries... you'd think I'm pregnant - but I'm not. Who has those sort of cravings?! I worked up this little combo and loved it. We had a huge garden salad to make the not-even-naughty meal seem a little less not-even-naughty. It just felt like the right thing to do.
4 large Idaho potatoes, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
1-2 cups cooked lentils
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Hot sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
(adapted from Rachael Ray)
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of dried thyme (crumbled in your fingers)
1/4 teaspoon salt
several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Place the potatoes into a large bowl. Spray them with EVOO spray and sprinkle with the grill seasoning and combine. Using a cookie cooling rack on top a baking sheet, pour the fries on top. With the cooling rack it'll allow the air to circulate all around the fries so they'll crisp everywhere. Plus it won't be necessary to flip them. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
While the potatoes are roasting, place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat... add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, chili powder and cumin to the pot. Cook until the veggies soften, 5-6 minutes, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook for about 1 minute, until it smells sweet and has caramelized slightly. Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire and broth to the pot. Bring everything up to a bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer the chili until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add in cooked lentils to warm.
Cook the cheese sauce... Combine the broth and flour in a measuring cup and whisk with a fork until dissolved.
Preheat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the oil and garlic in the pan and gently cook for about 2 minutes (or just steam-fry), stirring often and being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 15 seconds. Add the broth, turmeric, and nutritional yeast, and raise the heat to medium. Use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture should start bubbling and thickening in about 3 minutes; if it doesn't, turn the heat a bit higher.
Once the mixture is bubbling and thickening, stir and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the lemon juice and mustard. The mixture should resemble a thick, melty cheese. Taste for salt (you may need more depending on how salty your vegetable broth is), turn off the heat, and cover the pan to keep it warm until ready to use. The top might thicken a bit while it sits, but you can just stir it and it will be fine.