As noted my parents were in town recently celebrating the Christmas holiday with my family. It was a great time, and we enjoyed many great meals and laughter. Growing up, Christmas Eve was always a special time for our family, especially around the dining room…
Month: December 2007
You have to love the potato. You can shred them, mash them, fry them, mash them and bake them, and so much more. My family loves the mashed potato, and heck, I simply love most, if not all types of potatoes. In particular, I love the baked potato, especially with a steak dinner, or simply on its own, stuffed with broccoli and cheese, bacon, or whatever else you can load in there. Lately, I have had a craving for a twice baked potato, so with that said, you better believe that I made them. The process is so simple, yet the deliverable is so warm, and delicious.
- Large Russet Potatoes
- Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- Course Salt
- Cheddar Cheese (optional)
- Bacon (optional)
- Green Onions (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- Heavy Cream or Milk
First preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the meantime, scrub the outside of the potatoes and thoroughly clean. Pat dry, and lightly rub olive oil over all of the potatoes. Take a fork and poke holes in the potato which will prevent the potato from exploding from the pressure while cooking in the oven. Cook the taters right on the oven rack for about 1 hour and twenty minutes, or until they are cooked through. This depends on the size of the potato so feel free to press on the potato around the 60 minute mark to check for softness.
Once cooked, remove them from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes or so.
If you are using bacon for this recipe, cook it during the baking time, or the cooling time, it is really up to you.
With a knife, simply cut the top 1/3 of the potato completely off, reserving the meat. With a spoon, scoop out the insides of the potato, making sure to leave a bit around the edges of the potato so it does not fall apart, and place the meat into a bowl. Do this with all of your potatoes.
Now, into the bowl add the butter, cream, salt and pepper, and green onions. Mash to the texture you are wanting. Then refill each potato boat with the filling. Add cheddar cheese to the top, and crumble the bacon on top as well. Return to the oven, however at a lower temperature, around 350 degrees, and cook for nearly 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and ready to go. Trust me on this one, they are awesome!
I am certain you could do whatever you want within these potatoes; adding different types of cheeses, vegetables, or meats. What do you put on your potato?
Lately, I have been experimenting with baking bread, probably due to the fact that the rosemary bread was so delicious. Aaron, one of my coworkers, stated that his wife makes a great beer bread and that he can consume pretty much the entire loaf. I…
My family recently traveled to Toronto to attend Pam’s cousin Mike’s wedding. It was a blast, however the traveling time in the car was not all of that. Thirteen hours to Toronto, and 9.5 hours back. Go figure. A recent conversation with my colleague Ryan Rau triggered a dish that he was really excited about, poutine. I felt like a clown not knowing what poutine was, as he stated it was served at most restaurants! We had no clue, as most of our dining was Thai takeout, home meals, and an authentic Chinese buffet.
Ryan informed me that poutine was simply french fries with gravy and cheese. Well, when someone mention s something like that, I cannot get it off my mind. Tonight was poutine night. I loved it, however I am a true fan of fries with cheddar, bacon, and chives, alongside sour cream. Go figure. I love junk food like that.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes, or frozen fries
- Cheddar or any other mild cheese
- Package of Brown Gravy
- Salt and Pepper
- Cooking Oil (optional)
If you are using frozen fries, go at it, follow the directions, and depending on how you like your tenderness in your fries, layer the cheese on top about three minutes before you would normally take them out. Use as much cheese as you like. 🙂
On the other hand, if you are wanting the real deal fries, then clean them. That’s right, get the dirt off the skin. I like the skin on. That is where the nutrients are right? Cut the potato in half, then determine the cut of your fry. Depending on the width, continue to cut the potato down. Then, arrange them, and cut them lengthwise again. Once you get as many fries cut as you want, soak them in water for nearly 45 minutes. After the soaking period, drain, arrange them on a baking tray (spray with pam or lightly grease) and place in the oven at 350 degrees for roughly 15 minutes. This process begins to eliminate the moisture, as well as cooks the french fry. During the last five minutes or so of this process, heat the oil, enough to cook the fries. Once the oil is heated, roughly seven minutes or so, on medium-to-high heat, add the fries in batches. Cook until golden brown, remove and let them drain in a strainer lined with paper towel. Salt them at this time. Continue with the remaining batches, and continue with the process of draining and salting.
The next step is to place them back on the baking tray, top with cheese, and on 400 degrees cook until the cheese is melted.
While the fries are in the oven, add your cup of water to your gravy pack, and cook. This only takes a few minutes. Remove the fries, place on a plate, and add the gravy. Add pepper at this time, and get ready to rumble. They were good. Something that you definitely do not want to consume every night, but enjoyable as a snack or after a few beers.