Dirty Jersey Disco Fries

All I can say is YUMMY!  I’ve been eating disco fries, a variation of cheese fries commonly served in the diners of New Jersey and New York, since I was a little girl.  When I was young, there was a giant flea market in the town I grew up in and I loved to go there, mostly because I knew I would be having fresh cut french fries doused in cheese and gravy.  Until recently, I didn’t even know they were called disco fries, apparently that was a term coined in upstate New York, I just knew they tasted like heaven.  It may come as a surprise to some of you who don’t know me personally but, if asked what my favorite foods are, french fries will always be first on my list.  Growing up, I always had them deep fried but, for the most part I make oven fries now, which I’ve discovered get much crispier without all the fat.  Anyway, when I saw that there was going to be a Local Eats challenge on Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, I jumped on the chance to indulge on a long-time favorite.  I did my best to lighten up the dish by using lots of chicken broth for the sauces, part-skim mozzarella, and by baking the fries. The crumbled bacon is what turned this dish into a meal for us.  By the way, I picked up this method for the oven fries from Smitten Kitchen a couple weeks ago, it works beautifully.  Here goes:



Russet/Idaho Potatoes (I usually allow two med./lrg. per person but, since it was dinner I threw in an extra)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper




Chicken Broth/Stock

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Mozzarella Sauce:

Pasteurized Mozzarella Cheese



Chicken Stock

Milk (whatever you have in your fridge is fine)

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper




Start out by cooking up your bacon as you normally would (I used four slices).  When making bacon to crumble, I usually cut into strips before I fry it, it just makes it less messy when it’s time to crumble it up.

0132When your bacon is fully cooked, set aside on paper towels to drain, and pour out most of the fat from the pan.


In the same pan, allow a couple tablespoons of butter to melt.  To the butter, add equal parts flour and stir until the mixture smooths out.

0142This is your roux, season with salt and pepper and allow to brown, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a shade of brown a little lighter than peanut butter.  As I mentioned in Meatloaf Meatballs, do not leave it unattended!

018While your roux cooks, you can clean up your potatoes.


Cut the potatoes into thick wedges, I find that steak fries hold up better to the gravy and cheese than thinner fries do.

0122Parboil the potatoes in salted water until just fork tender.  Once the water reaches a boil, this should only take a few minutes.

When they reach this point, drain well, and transfer to a large bowl.

0161Coat with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, then toss the potatoes onto a cookie sheet in a single layer (my potatoes did suffer some breakage this time around, but these things happen in the kitchen and the bottom line is, they still taste just as yummy!)

0171Bake the potato wedges in a preheated, 400 degree oven until they are crispy and golden.

Some time while you are prepping the potatoes, your roux will have reached its desired color.  At this point you can add the chicken broth.  Do this while stirring constantly to avoid the dreaded lumps.

019I used about three quarters of the can of chicken broth.  Once all of the liquid is incorporated, let the gravy come to a boil while stirring occasionally.  Once it has reached a rolling boil, it should be a nice consistency.  You can then remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl until ready to serve.  Note:  cover the bowl so the gravy doesn’t lose too much of its heat as it sits.

021Rinse out your pan and start another roux.  This time, just give the flour a few minutes to cook, we don’t want the roux to pick up any color since it’s for a cheese sauce.  Again you can season with a little salt and pepper.  While the roux cooks, you can grate the cheese, I used about half a block.


After the flour has cooked up a bit, add the rest of the can of chicken broth, again, stirring continuously.  Once that has come together, you can add the milk(I use two percent), I used about equal parts broth and milk.

023Congratulations, you have just made a bechamel sauce(albeit lightened up a bit)!  After the mixture has thickened a bit, you can add in the cheese.

024When the cheese is melted, the sauce is done.

Around this time, your potatoes should be reaching the desired level of crispiness.  When they appear to be to your liking, remove from the oven and allow to cool for just a couple of minutes, then transfer to a serving dish.  Pour the gravy and cheese sauce over the fries and sprinkle the top with bacon.


How could you not ENJOY!?!

Note:  for those not afraid to try new things, try them with a little ketchup on the side, it really is good!

A Joelen’s My Kind Of Town Thanksgiving Entry-Check out the Round Up.



Filed under Sides

10 responses to “Dirty Jersey Disco Fries

  1. Woah! Those look SOOO good! I’ve never heard of disco fries before, but now I definitely want to try them!

  2. Melissa

    Talk about comfort food! Yum!

  3. I want these. I am not inspired to cook this time of the year, so I look around for new, fresh & totally awesome ideas. I love dirty disco fries. I will be making these later. But I’m going to use sweet potatoes & cheddar cheese to make a mornay sauce. You rock. & so do the fries. I’m off to see what else you have cooking up on your blog 😉

  4. Yum, wow those look soo good!

  5. Wow! Now that is a plate of fries! I was laughing at your “I used to eat these at a flea market” description. When I was little, I used to eat lumpias at a local flea market. If I had the same opportunity now, I don’t think I would go anywhere near them!

  6. Where in Jersey can I get some ‘dirty disco fries’ that are good, but yours look better!

  7. shayneaja

    Chef E. not sure where you are in Jersey but, most diners serve them. If you email me and tell me your location I might be able to recommend a good one.

  8. I can just smell this dish. Now, I am hungry again!

  9. seriously?! i just about had a heart attack looking at those 😉 but fries…covered in gravy, cheese sauce, and bacon?! YUM!!!

  10. OMG. What else can I say? If your gonna have fries you might as well really enjoy them.

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