When you take a trip to the west coast for the first time, there is a typical checklist of things you want to do and see: drive the Pacific Coast Highway, visit the Redwood Forest, hike to the Hollywood sign, and, of course, go to In-N-Out Burger. There is just something special about those gooey, greasy cheeseburgers and the extra thick milkshakes that can make a girl feel like a fast-food princess. And then, obviously, there is In-N-Out's secret recipe for animal-style fries. One bite, and you'll wonder if you'll be able to ever eat normal fries again.
One of the most popular items from the Southwest-based fast food chain, animal-style fries are on In-N-Out's "secret menu," which is anything but secret. They're hot, crispy fries topped with sauteed onions, melty American cheese, and "extra spread." And what exactly is the spread? As it turns out, it's a mix of all of your favorite traditional condiments, blended together for one amazing taste. The combination of flavors from the salty fries, the gooey American cheese, the crunchy onions, and the creamy special sauce is enough to give anyone a food-induced orgasm.
But if you weren't lucky enough to grow up in a place that had an In-N-Out Burger, or you've never been able to make the trek, you can have animal fries of your own in no time. Just follow these easy steps:
- Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
- 2 large potatoes
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tbs. relish
- 1 tsp. mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus salt for fries
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 slices of American cheese
1. Soak potatoes in cold water for at least one hour. Peel potatoes and slice them matchbook style, about 1/4 inch thick each. Set aside on a paper towel to dry a little.
2. To make the spread, combine mayo, ketchup, relish, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well blended. Set aside.
3. In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp. olive oil. Add diced onions. Cook until crispy and brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
4. In a frying pot (or a large, deep skillet if you don't have one), heat oil to 360°F. Carefully, add potato slices to the heated oil. Fry for 3 minutes, until they begin to get soft but before they turn brown. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove fries. Dry on a paper towel. Once oil is reheated to 360°F, drop potatoes back in oil for 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove, and dry on a paper towel. Salt immediately.
5. While still hot, move fries to a serving plate. Cover with cheese slices and cooked onions, letting the cheese melt a bit.
6. Smother in special sauce. Serve and enjoy.
Your taste buds will be on Pacific Coast time once you dig into these easy-to-make fast food style fries. And, if you don't have the time or inclination to try making homemade French fries, you can skip the potatoes and frying oil part and instead go with frozen fries to cut down on cooking time and dishes. The best part of this recipe? It makes over a cup of spread, so you can save it and refrigerate it (for up to two weeks), meaning you can have In-N-Out style food in just moments.
Images: Sadie Trombetta