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Relatively speaking, I'm quite a healthy eater. I love vegetables, raw and cooked and I hate using a lot of oil in food - it smells and then you're left with a load of hot oil that you can't do anything with. That doesn't mean to say I don't like the end product. I mean, who can resist really crispy fried chicken?

There are days when good, wholesome food just doesn't appeal. I get those every so often and thankfully, after I've had a day like that, I want to go back to my normal eating habits. So it doesn't last too long. Yesterday was one of those days. There is a restaurant relatively nearby that does the BEST loaded fries I've ever had. The menu changes every so often and the loads on the fries change with it but I had a craving for the chilli lamb fries I had there the last time. It wasn't a day to go out so I tried to recreate the "dish" at home. Oh, it worked.

These fries are good for a "junk day" on their own or you can load them up in individual little dishes and serve them as sides with stuff. Also I used lamb mince, you can mix it up and use beef or pork and add little bits in that go with those meats - like tomatoes with the beef or grated apple with the pork. I would steer clear of turkey mince - these are not designed to be a lean meal so don't try.

Spicy Loaded Fries

  • 6 large potatoes, cut into chunky chips or wedges

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 500g lamb mince

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp each of salt and pepper, plus extra to sprinkle

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 200g (more if you prefer) grated cheddar

  • 2 spring onions, sliced

Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C. Lay the potatoes in a single layer on a baking tray. Pour over the oil, salt, pepper and paprika and rub them into the chips so that they're all evenly covered. Put them in the oven for an hour, checking every 20 minutes to see if you need to turn the tray round. Give them a little shake to stop them sticking to the tray.

When the chips have about 10 minutes to go, fry the garlic off in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Add the lamb mince, breaking it up into small pieces as it's cooking and sprinkle in some salt and pepper, I'd say about a teaspoon each but it depends on your taste. Once the lamb has practically completely changed colour, add the soy sauce and chilli mixing it all in well.

When the chips come out of the oven, pour half of them into a medium sized oven dish or into individual portion sized oven proof dishes. then pour over half of the mince mixture. Add the rest of the chips and then the rest of the mince mixture and then sprinkle over the grated cheese. Put it back in the oven for 12 minutes. Once it's out of the oven, sprinkle over the sliced spring onion and serve immediately with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce.


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