I was really craving a Philly cheese steak the other day and my brain went to how delicious the american cheese is with the grilled onions and then I jumped to hand cut fries and then to caramelized onions and BOOM this happened. I pretty much love anything that involves caramelized onions because they are just jam packed with flavor.
The key to this recipe is really the perfect caramelized onions so let me start off with some of my tips:
- I prefer to use a metal pan for this. A lot of recipes will tell you not to use a non-stick pan but trust me I’ve tried it.. they will still caramelize and taste delicious. But if you have the option, use a regular metal sauce pan because it will add just a little more flavor by sticking to the bottom just enough to create brown bits of flavor
- Use butter not oil. Specifically, unsalted butter
- To season or not to season? This is a mix of personal preference and the recipe you’re using them for. If it’s a savory dish, you can lightly season with some kosher salt. If you’re pairing with something that’s already salty and you want to cut that with more sweetness, you can also add in a touch of granulated sugar. I always season with salt and then will add sugar depending on the recipe. For this cheese fries recipe, I omitted the sugar and only used salt
- How long does it take? Typically set aside 20-30 minutes. I typically let them go the full 30 minutes to get that really dark brown color and caramelized flavor! Oh, and don’t plan on doing much else because they do require a lot of attention and care to avoid burning so stir often!
- 1 bag frozen hand cut fries I used Ore Ida
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 white onion medium chopped
- Kosher salt
- 6 slices American cheese I find the cheap Kraft-like types work best for melting!
- 2 stalks scallions sliced
Add butter to your saucepan on medium heat. Once sizzling, add onions and stir until well coated. Season with a pinch of kosher salt.
Lower the heat to low and stir every few minutes for 20 minutes. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring more often until dark brown.
Cook the fries based on the bag instructions.
When fries are cooked, add sliced cheese and put back in the oven until melted. Top with caramelized onions and scallions.
Top with or dip into a spicy mayonnaise (1/2 cup mayonnaise + 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce or more to taste)