Break Out The Waffle Iron To Transform Leftover French Fries

There's nothing more delicious than french fries fresh out of the fryer. It's hard to beat the textural balance between crunchy and pillowy that hot oil instills in a potato. Fresh fries may be the perfect food, but it's a fleeting perfection. Leftover fries are sad, limp, and cold remnants of their former selves that you may consider unsalvagable. Before giving up on leftover french fries, break out the waffle iron to revive them through a delicious transformation.

Despite their singular intended purpose, waffle irons have rescued many recipes, adding crunch, form, and cohesion to everything from sandwiches to omelets, to falafels. After being thrown into a waffle iron, a couple of servings of leftover french fries will transform into a giant, waffle fry with the same crispy exterior and tender interior you loved about the fries when they were fresh.

All you have to do is layer your leftover french fries into an even stack over a preheated waffle iron, close the iron, and apply moderate pressure to ensure even crisping. The residual oil in the french fries should be sufficient to lubricate the cast iron for easy removal while also serving to re-fry the newly formed potato waffle. For a more defined waffle form, you can layer standard french fries in a crosshatch pattern. However, the waffle iron can transform any style of fry that needs reviving, from curly fries to wedges. A greater mass of fries will render a more cohesive and texturally balanced waffle.

Flavor combinations for waffle fries

While you can eat your newly transformed waffle fry right out of the iron, pulling it apart to dip in a mound of ketchup or barbecue sauce, its new form and texture provide ample opportunities for customization. You can even throw additional ingredients into the iron for a condensed version of loaded fries.

For example, you could intersperse the layers of fries with shredded jack cheese and pickled jalapenos for a cheesy, spicy waffle fry to garnish with pico de gallo, sliced avocado and a drizzle of chipotle mayo. You could repurpose french fries into a gluten-free bun swap for a waffle-iron sandwich or burger; place a cooked burger patty or tuna salad in the middle of two cheesy waffle fries with some pickles and tomatoes for an indulgent take on a classic hamburger or tuna melt.

The waffle fry would also be a wonderful foundation for a stacked meal. Throw a mound of tater tots in the waffle iron for crispy waffle hash browns to top with a fried egg and bacon, or transform them into a latke waffle topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and capers. You could make a sweet and savory appetizer with leftover sweet potato fries flattened and crisped into waffle form to top with tahini and miso butter. The possibilities are endless, offering a compelling argument against wasting soggy fries.