Frenchy Fuqua Fries with Smoked Gouda Dip

Here we are. Ten days away from the Steelers' home opener. We've got one more preseason game to get through before the regular season begins. Let's not waste any time.

Game Bites
Pittsburgh @ Carolina

We were told in advance that most of the starters would be on the sidelines for this, the final game of the preseason. We also knew that third sting QB, Landry Jones would be in for the entirety of the game. He started strong, but then, well, you know...

First Quarter: I tuned in just in time to see the Panthers score a TD on their first possession. I mean, literally, the first thing I saw as I opened the Preseason Live app. Starting to worry that I'm bad luck. 

Steelers' ball, roughing the passer penalty against Carolina yields a 15 yard bonus.

Reggie Dunn "scampered" (Edmund Nelson's words, not mine) for a first down. I'll take it. 

Stephens-Howling converts on 3rd and 14 with a first down run.

Dwyer has another Steelers' first down on the next play. 

TD pass from Landry Jones to David Paulson! Edmund Nelson loves that big tight end.

Next few drives don't go anywhere, score still tied 7-7 at the end of the first. 

Second Quarter: Second quarter starts with CAR driving down the field. PIT defense makes consecutive goal line stops. CAR challenges, but the ruling on the field stands. Steelers stop again on 3rd and goal and hold the Panthers to a field goal. Dick LeBeau is pleased and so am I. 10-7, CAR.

Steeler ball, 3rd and 5, Jones to Moye! Big pass to convert for a new set of downs. Offense is ultimately stopped on 3rd and 6 as Landry Jones' pass attempt is shut down.  

DAMMIT - huge TD by number 19 Ginn. 17-7, CAR.

Pompeani - "I'm trying to resist saying Felix 'Quick As A Cat' Jones," but you said it anyway. No will power.

Steeler D looking great and holds Carolina on next drive. 

PIT returns punt and starts on CAR 45 yard line. 

Paulson leaps over Panthers' defender, Robert Lester. Cool trick, but no gain. 

PIT timeout with 16 seconds left, 1st and goal. Illegal block in the back penalty on Guy Whimper sets the Steelers back 10 yards.  Suisham makes 37 yard FG attempt. 

Score at the half: 17-10, CAR

Third Quarter: Steelers start second half with the ball. They drive down the field with lots of handoffs to Felix "Quick As A Cat" Jones, but ultimately punt at the 50 yard line. 

A few drives later, the Steelers recover a Carolina special teams blunder when the long snapper knocks a fair catch with his foot. PIT recovers on the CAR 23 yard line! After two runs by Felix Jones, Landry Jones' wheels start to come off. He throws an interception to Josh Norman, who makes a 70 yard return - his FOURTH preseason interception. I nearly put my fist through my phone screen after this. Double ouch.

The defense does its job well and holds Carolina to 4th and 8 and another field goal. 20-10, CAR.

Aaand, Landry Jones throws another pick six on the next possession.  

Fourth Quarter: Not much happens here and I pretty much give up on what's left of the final preseason game. 

The defense holds Carolina back from scoring a TD, once again, but they still tack 3 more points onto their lead.

Then things go from bad to worse as Landry Jones is sacked on 3rd and 6 and Reggie Dunn falls into a safety, cementing the score...

Final Score: 25-10, CAR

Frrrrrrrenchy Fuqua! The French Count! A quirky guy and a flashy dresser. The running back spent most of his playing career with the Steelers, except for his first season in 1969, which was spent with the Giants. He has also been called "The Man Who Collided With History," because of his significant and serendipitous role in the Immaculate Reception.   

I'll be honest with you - I'm tired and a little run down after all of these preseason losses. Frenchy, I love ya, but we'll talk about you more another time. Trust me, this delicious Frenchy Fries recipe will be making repeat appearances on Stiller Snacks later in the season - on sandwiches... in salads... and with anything else yinz will let me add fries to!

I'm a bit slow when it comes to, well, everything, but this entire recipe only took me a little over an an hour to complete - fries, dip and all! Smart use of the game clock (thank you, thank you). We devoured these homemade cheese fries in about the same time frame. I looked to Joy the Baker for the fry recipe. She's a genius and these totally rule. The game plan is laid out very clearly: perfect fries are twice fried. See for yourself below - first fry results on the right, doubly fried on the left (don't mind the grease, it comes with the territory).

I used the same mandolin slicer as in the Rod WoodsOnion Ring recipe, but this time on the Julienne setting. Perfectly sliced fries. Hand cut, if you prefer. 

I finally caved and bought a fry/candy thermometer. I've avoided it thus far, but it really is necessary to check the oil temperature in this recipe and was on sale for $1.99 at the grocery store. I couldn't refuse. 

Finally, I wanted to make these cheesy, but didn't want to drown the beautiful golden fries in yellow goop. Thus, we're making a delicious smoked gouda dip to sit nicely on the side. I would eat this smoky cheese dip with just about anything. So gouda!

Frenchy Fuqua Fries with Smoked Gouda Dip
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

2 large Russet or Idaho potatoes, peeled
24 oz canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the dip
1 1/2 cup smoked gouda, shredded (wax removed, if necessary)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp paprika

Julienne potatoes into 3/8 inch strips. (I cut the peeled potatoes into quarters and used mandolin slicer to Julienne.) Blanche potato strips in a bowl of cold water for about 10 min. Remove potatoes from water and pat dry with paper towels. 

Heat oil in cast iron pan over medium heat until thermometer reads 250 degrees. Line plates or cooling racks with paper towels. Carefully drop (dry!) potato strips into oil. (I fried in larger batches than Joy's recipe suggests, but it all depends on the size of your pan. I fried in batches of about 24 at a time.) Separate fries with metal tongs or spatula if necessary and fry for 6 minutes, then remove with tongs/spatula and place on paper towel-lined plates. Continue until all strips have been fried. 

Raise heat to medium-high to raise oil temperature to 350 degrees. Re-fry all fries in small batches, about 3 minutes per batch (once they begin to brown, you can remove). Replace with new, dry paper towels if necessary and drain fries on paper towel-lined plates. Repeat until all fries have been fried a second time. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat and whisk in flour. Quickly whisk in milk and raise heat to medium high. Stir in shredded gouda and paprika. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Dip, eat and enjoy!! 

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