Ever notice how your taste buds seem to disappear when you have a cold/cough?  My taste buds are still not fully functioning as I continue to fight these germs Mother Nature sent my way.  Even my appetite was gone for a while, but it has returned.  The lack of taste is an awful ailment for me to have…my love of food and cooking is so intertwined with my daily life, when I can’t really taste and savor something I’ve cooked, I feel as if I’ve been cheated!

Dinner last night was a “fast food” favorite – burgers & fries!   The meat was not ground beef – I have nothing against good ground beef from grass fed animals, with no antibiotics administered during their raising, but ever since I started making burgers with ground bison meat, we’ve never looked back.  D’Artagnan sells an excellent ground bison (although they call it “buffalo” on their packaging which I wish they would change to bison.   I season the ground bison with Goya’s Adobo seasoning, and sometimes finely minced garlic.  That’s it.  Then either grill the burgers on my outdoor electric grill on our lanai/balcony, or pan fry the bison burgers in bacon fat.  Not a lot, but enough to flavor the burgers.  The bacon fat I used, was the result of cooking♦ two slices of Nueske’s peppered bacon for a classic BLT sandwich earlier in the day that I had for lunch.  I was about to wash the skillet and then remembered that bison burgers were on the menu for dinner, so I just left the skillet, covered, on the stove top.

Now for the fries…yes, I do love to make my own fries; russet/Idaho potatoes, peeled (or not), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, lengthwise, and then each slice cut into 1/2-inch or smaller strips.  These strips are then soaked in a bowl of cold water for several hours.  Drain, and dry very well on paper or cloth towels.  In the meantime,  vegetable oil is heating in a pan on the stove top, or sometimes I like to use a deep fryer – the one I have is by DeLonghi.   I fry the potato strips for the first time for just a few minutes, until the interior of each strip of potato gets softened yet the outside remains white.  Drain the strips from the oil onto paper towels and lay them out in a single layer.  They can remain like that for up to 2 hours.  Re-heat the oil to 360 degrees F. drop in one strip to see it sizzle immediately upon contact with the oil and then add the remaining strips.  Fry until the strips are golden brown.  Remove from the oil with a wire strainer into a paper towel lined bowl;  sprinkle with sea salt or garlic salt and toss the fries – serve immediately!

Okay, so I didn’t do all of the above last night …. I cheated…and used Alexia organic frozen fries. Shame on me?  Well, no.  Alexia makes the best frozen fries in a variety of seasonings and types of potatoes and once you try them you’ll understand why I felt no shame in using frozen fries.