This is nostalgia served with a swirl of spinach. Boardwalk fries are nothing short of a sharable paper cup of comfort. Imagine your sand sprinkled toes propped up on a bench, watching all the colorful chaos scurry by as you sit back and savor a salty serving of crispy French fries.
I’ll take the beach frizzed hair; crispy sun burned shoulders and splintered toes to be back on the Boardwalk for a night, to feel the goose bump inducing evening ocean breeze and share a bucket of hot fries with good friends.
Only Mother Nature can bring us the ocean breeze, but I bring along a lighter, brighter version of this Boardwalk staple. These fries are not actually fried at all, but they do have a crispy oven baked exterior, and when drizzled with this sharp homemade cheddar cheese sauce and laced with fresh spinach, they are transformed into a wholesome savory snack, vegetarian lunch or versatile dinner side dish.
Boardwalk Fries with Homemade Cheese Sauce and Spinach
I can see these being served as a non-traditional appetizer for a cozy casual New Year’s get together.
Makes approximately 4-6 servings
4 baking potatoes, (skin on) washed and scrubbed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1.5 cups milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 tsp mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1.5 – 2 cups loosely packed spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 425.
Slice potatoes into long thin strips. Place in a colander and rinse with very cold water. Lay potatoes out onto a towel and pat dry. (*The cold water rinse helps maintain that crispy skin and soft potato center*
Spread the potatoes out onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat all the fries and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
Warm the milk in the microwave, just to take the chill off. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter. Whisk the mixture and cook over medium until it turns a medium –dark brown color. Add the warmed milk, a little at a time, and continue whisking until it starts to thicken and look saucy. Whisk in the mustard.
Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese. The cheese will gradually melt. When cheese in melted, and the potatoes are ready to serve, warm the cheese sauce up slightly and drop in the spinach. Stir gently, until the spinach wilts into the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
Any leftover cheddar sauce can be served over rice, broccoli or other veggies.