Have you ever had the bacon and cheese fries at Outback Steakhouse? That was my dining out option of choice during the last year of college and they probably had something to do with those 5-10 pounds I gained during my student teaching semester. Especially because they would give you this ranch sauce to dip them in. Unbelievably good and listed as one of the worst foods in America.
After Scott and I started dating, we would occasionally go there just for fries and drinks. We were so poor that we had no idea how poor we were, but we never seemed to lack the funds to go out. Being 22 is funny like that.
We went to Outback in Anchorage once, after we got married, and it wasn’t very good. The food just didn’t taste the same. Chain restaurants in Alaska were like that; it never quite tasted right. That’s why we eventually ended up sticking to local places when eating out. Even now, we stay away from chains because of this.
So, I haven’t actually had those fries from Outback since, maybe, 2009. But that’s okay. Because you can make these fries at home and they taste just as good. I originally used this seasoning combination in Parmesan Potatoes a few years ago. This time, I found a tip on Pinterest that said you should pre-bake your potatoes, let them cool, slice them into sticks, and bake again. I really liked what it did to the potatoes, creating a crispy skin. My seasoning of choice is steak seasoning. That might sound weird, but it has this perfect combination of salty and sweet spices and gives so much flavor. I have a bottle of Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning but I have no idea where it came from. Check out your spice aisle to see what they offer. After they bake coated in the olive oil and seasoning, sprinkle some cheese on top, and broil for a few minutes. I used a 4 cheese blend, replicating that Outback version. You can definitely add bacon if you’re so inclined.
And if you know the recipe for that Outback ranch sauce, let me know.
serves 4 as a side dish (or two as a main dish)
6-8 red potatoes or yellow Yukon gold potatoes
steak seasoning, about 1 tablespoon
shredded cheese (any kind you'd like)
diced bacon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Scrub, rinse, and dry the potatoes. Put them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Set aside and let them cool.
Slice into french-fry-sized pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they'll cook. Place them back on the cookie sheet and coat with a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with the seasonings and toss to coat.
Place back in the oven and bake for 20-30 more minutes, until brown and crispy. Top with cheese and/or bacon and put back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.
Serve while warm.
I added the cheese after I took the picture (why I'm not a food blogger)..and I had no bacon, but next time I will.