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Wink Winker Fries 5.02 A Messenger, Nothing More

“Burger for me, nothing healthy on it, extra cheese, and, of course, an order of...wink-winkers.” “You don't have to call them that, Zach.” “Just want to make myself clear.” “Look, I told you guys I'd throw you free fries -- not a big deal since they're usually the ones we wind up throwing out anyway from making too many, which means you don't have to call them wink-winkers or nudge-nudgies or know-what-I-meanies or anything else in verbal code, especially if it's cute-cutesy.”


For the fries:

  • 2 russet potatoes

  • 2 tsp olive oil

  • ½ tsp chili powder

  • ½ tsp ground mustard

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp paprika

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp dried parsley (plus more for serving)

  • ½ tsp salt (plus more for serving)

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • ¼ tsp cayenne powder

  • ⅛ cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tbsp ketchup

  • 1 tbsp dijon or yellow mustard

  • ½ tbsp barbecue sauce

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper


  1. Peel the potatoes and slice lengthwise to create ¼ inch slices.

  2. If you want to create eye-shaped fries, print out an eye shape about 3 inches in length. Place the stencil over the potato slice and use a paring knife to cut out the eye shape. Then use a circular stencil or a metal piping tip to cut out a hole in the center (don’t waste the center pieces, cook those too!)

  3. If you don’t want to create the eye shapes, cut the potato slices vertically to create thick fries.

  4. Place the potatoes in a medium bowl with a lid or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.

  5. Add the olive oil and all the seasonings to the fries. Place the lid onto the bowl or seal the bag. Give it a good shake for about 10 seconds or until the potatoes are fully coated in the seasoning.

For an air fryer:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F.

  2. Place the fries in the basket.

  3. Air fry your fries for 16 minutes at 400 F.

  4. Pull out the basket then add the parmesan cheese.

  5. Air fry for an additional 2 minutes to melt the cheese.

  6. While the fries are cooking, create the sauce by combining the mayo, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until combined.

  7. Top your fries with additional salt, dried parsley, and cheese if you’d like.

For an oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F

  2. Place potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with foil.

  3. Bake at 450 F for 30-35 minutes or until crisp. Flip the fries at the halfway mark.

  4. Add the cheese and bake for an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese has become melted.

  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce (see step 6 above)

  6. Top your fries with additional salt, dried parsley, and cheese if you’d like.

I just used a printed stencil of an eye to create my wink winkers.

Okay, so I had this idea to make my fries into eye shapes because Zach famously calls them wink-winkers. I’m not sure if they really look like eyeballs, but I did my best. You don’t have to try to cut out eyeball shapes if you make these fries yourself. I just had to be a little bit extra. I also finally got myself an air fryer! I have been wanting to get one for a long time, but this dish finally pushed me to purchase one. I can’t wait to try out more recipes with it. What are some of your favorite things to make in an air fryer?

Make sure to season your potatoes well!

Of course, I did make sure to include steps for using a regular oven in case you don’t have an air fryer. I never want my recipes to be inaccessible just because you might not have a special appliance. That’s why all my ice cream recipes have instructions in case you don’t have an ice cream maker, or my instant pot soups have a traditional stovetop method included.

You can also enjoy your fries with any sauce or condiment that you prefer. I personally don’t like ketchup or regular mustard on their own. But mixing in some mayo and barbecue sauce, you suddenly have a perfect fry sauce! What is your favorite thing to dip your fries in?

Happy Cooking from the Hollow!

If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!

Enjoy your wink winkers!


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