Sometimes I rip my hair out thinking about what I am going to prepare for dinner, especially during the week. I feel like the days have gotten shorter and shorter and I am running in a race against self-imposed time crunches....and believe me, I am losing very badly.
I essentially have two full time jobs...my winery & vineyard and this blog (in all honesty, they are both more than full time jobs). And yes, this blog is a full time gig! Balancing everything, including family life, takes real planning, forethought and then sometimes just plain crazy 16 hour days. When it comes to my passions in life, I have had to just go for them. I am so lucky to be doing what I love every single day. But it is a crazy schedule.
Mondays seem to be the hardest day of the week to get back into the groove of cooking, working and the kids school schedules. By turning our Mondays into Mandays with Manwich and a "Case of the Mandays" campaign, dinner just got a little easier.
Everyone loves chili cheese fries but they are often considered more of a side dish than a main meal. I decided to change that by adding a little more protein to my chili cheese fries. I used ground beef, chili beans and Manwich to make a quick, tasty and easy chili. I flavored the sauce with smoked paprika and cumin to create a smoky and sweet taste. As you can see I topped the whole dish with a fried egg...the perfect addition to any meal.
It's a little hard to see, but I always brown my ground beef "really well". When I was growing up I remember my mother asking my Italian neighbors why their meat sauce tasted so good and flavorful. They said they always, always spend time really "browning" their ground beef. I have never forgotten that. It does make a difference and takes only about 5-7 minutes longer. Try it next time for a more in depth flavorful meat.
Adding Manwich to the ground beef gives you "instant sauce" with a characteristic taste so many of us grew up on. The chili beans, already seasoned with garlic and other spices, turn this into a quick chili perfect for a weeknight meal.
The smoked paprika really took this dish to another level. It adds so much complexity. You cannot leave it out.
I have been using smoked paprika in my recipes for years now. It used to be hard to find but now it's everywhere. Using it effortlessly changes and elevates your meal into something really interesting.
Finely shredded cheese melts easier over your food. And who doesn't want melty cheese on their fries?
Sloppy Joe Chili Cheese Fries
- 3/4 bag frozen French fries (bag size is 1 lb 10 ounces)
- 1 pound ground beef (90/10)
- salt & pepper
- 1 can (15 oz) Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce
- 1 can (15.5 oz) chili beans (drain half the liquid out of the can)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika (do not substitute)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 large fried eggs cooked to your desired level of doneness
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Cook French fries according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until browned really well. Season with salt and pepper. Add Manwich, chili beans, smoked paprika and cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes while flavors combine.
- Divide French fries and top with Manwich chile sauce into four portions on plates, sprinkling each with a 1/2 cup cheese. Place a fried egg on top of each plate of chili cheese fries. Garnish with green onions.
Disclosure: I am currently working with Manwich to develop recipes for "A Case of the Mandays" campaign. As always, all opinions are my own.
Two Years Ago: Beef Irish Stew
Three Years Ago: Pork Chops Marsala
Five Years Ago: Ridiculously Addictive Lemon Squares