The best way to receive nearly immediate feedback when I test recipes is to throw a dinner party. This weekend was no exception. I was toying with three main flavor ideas for the Alexia Foods “Reinvent a Classic” challenge and desperately needed critiques before I moved forward. So I turned to my friends Jimmy and Jonathan to stop over for a dinner consisting of grilled burgers, roasted corn salad and piles of fries.
This was going to be quite a night.
My flavor testing process was simple. I started by peeling and cutting nearly 3 pounds of russet potatoes into crinkle, shoe string and wedge shapes. Much like pasta, each shape holds flavor differently. It would be important to determine the best shape to complement the chosen flavor.
The weather was absolutely beautiful and I didn’t want to waste a minute of it by being stuck in the kitchen. So I moved the kitchen outside by setting up a table to hold my deep fryer and other supplies. While I concocted flavor combinations like a mad scientist, Brent focused on grilling the burgers to perfection. All the while, Jimmy and Jonathon sat at the patio table waiting to be fed.
Boy, they sure got fed.
Basket after basket of crisp golden fries emerged from the hot oil. I gave them a quick toss with a mixture of seasonings and instructed my test subjects to eat. This ritual continued into the late evening until our waistbands popped from the pressure. Thankfully, our other friends Patrick and Kevin swung by near the end to try their hand at the taste testing fun and relieved some of the pressure on the other boys.
Out of the three main flavor ideas we tried, there was one clear winner. Sadly, you will have to wait a bit longer before I can share the recipe. But I can tell you the clear loser. I thought it would be fun to play with curry and a variety of spices. What I thought would be a burst of tantric flavors was a dismal failure on so many levels. Too much nutmeg, cinnamon and all spice caused the fries to take on a tone only found on a Thanksgiving table….and not in a good way.
The next steps are to focus on perfecting the clear winner. Much like a cliffhanger to a really good movie, I will only leave you with a photo of what may or may not be the best fry flavor you have ever tasted. Insert evil laugh here.
Disclosure: In accordance of FTC guidelines, Alexia Foods is providing a financial endorsement during the “Reinvent a Classic” promotion. The views and opinions discussed in this post are that of the author.