Cholee is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys creating family and budget-friendly recipes from scratch.
Football season is upon us, and with it comes parties and colder weather. Game day parties and family get-togethers are a popular Sunday afternoon activity during the fall season, and nothing complements them more than warm, spicy, feel-good food. Some of my favorite memories come from these kinds of parties, and what better way to create lasting memories than to share new recipes and tasty food.
My zesty taco-loaded fries are the perfect game-day mash-up appetizer and were created with football season in mind. This appetizer is sure to please any crowd and can be tailored to your individual tastes. These warm ooey, gooey, and flavor-packed french fries are my go-to hot appetizer.
What Is a Food Mash-Up?
A mash-up is when you fuse together two completely different foods with different flavor profiles. These two common foods are paired together to create a brand new dish that contains the original flavors of the two separate dishes, but combines them in a new and exciting way.
Mash-ups have become a huge trend in the food world, and today I’m creating my own mash up using tacos and loaded baked potatoes. My zesty taco fries have the spicy flavors of tacos paired with the creamy flavors of baked potatoes. The tastes mesh well together and the french fries turn this dish into one that can be easily shared.
My idea for these french fries came from a recent episode on the TV series The Next Food Network Star, where they were showcasing game day mash-ups as the main challenge for the remaining participants. Their mash-ups were definitely a bit more bold and daring than my creation, but I know I have an appetizer that is equally as tempting. One of my all-time favorite game day snacks is taco dip, so with this in mind, I went about creating my own mash-up with my second favorite food, potatoes. These fries keep all the flavors of the baked potato, but make the dish more game-day-friendly.
- 1 pound ground beef, (I prefer venison as I believe it adds another depth of flavor)
- 1 bag frozen french fries, (Seasoned or Waffle; both have their advantages!)
- 1 packet taco seasoning, (I used a pinterest recipe for taco seasoning that is perfect for this dish)
- Taco toppings, (Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheese)
- Sour cream
- Nacho cheese
- Crumbled bacon
What kind of frozen french fries should you use?
I love seasoned fries because they crisp up a bit more than waffle fries and add an extra zip to the dish. On the other hand, waffle fries can hold up to all the toppings and will not become mush underneath. I also find the waffle fries a little easier to eat, because they will maintain their shape and texture.
What type of taco spice mix is best?
I love this Pinterest taco seasoning recipe as I find it a tad spicer than the traditional store-bought packets. However, be mindful of how much heat your children can handle. I know for my children, I need to stick to the store-bought seasoning. If you choose to try this mix it equals the same amount as a store packet, so there is no need to cut the recipe in half, or double it.
- Preheat the oven and bake the french fries to your likeness.
- Brown the meat and sear the bacon.
- Drain the meat and return it to the pan. Add the taco seasoning and mix in 3/4 cup of water. Allow the mix to simmer for five minutes and then turn off the heat.
- Gather all the toppings and set them aside.
- Pour finished fries onto a serving plate and top with the taco meat.
- Add nacho cheese and sour cream.
- Pile on lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and shredded cheese.
- Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy!
These zesty, flavor-packed french fries were a huge hit with kids and adults alike. For game day or family meal night, the toppings can be put in a veggie tray so everyone can choose their own. I love using the veggie tray because it not only eliminates the number of dishes I need to do, but it keeps all the toppings together in one place.
The next time you are in need of a game-day appetizer, look no further than these mash-up zesty loaded taco fries.
© 2017 Cholee Clay