Loaded Baked Potato Muffins

With one of my most recent recipes, the pizza muffins, I kept thinking as to what to make using the muffin tins as the pizza muffins were such a huge hit. To me the muffin tin is a bit like the waffle iron. As soon as you start tinkering and making great things with the waffle iron, then it gets you thinking of other creative ideas, much like the muffin tin. So with a recent Sunday meal, and one of my favorite meals of all time (chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn), I decided to come up with a twist of the mashed potatoes, and use the muffin tin to make loaded mashed potato muffins. Talk about crazy good, this is it!

Loaded Baked Potato Muffins
Loaded Baked Potato Muffins Recipe

First let me start by saying that I love mashed potatoes, but really love loaded mashed potatoes. Maybe it’s the texture of the bacon, or heck maybe it is just the bacon, but the combination of everything really made this meal shine.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes, skins peeled and removed, and cut into cubes
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • cooking spray

Start by adding your potatoes to a pot of cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 25 minutes or so.

During this time, cook your bacon, and slice your green onions.

When the potatoes are tender, strain them and return them back to the heat to evaporate any remaining water. Once evaporated, season with salt and pepper, and mash them however you desire. I use a ricer on mine as I like the nice, and smooth texture.  Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl, and add in the bacon, butter, and green onions. Give this a good mix, then taste and adjust any salt or pepper to your liking.

 

Loaded Baked Potato Muffin Ingredients
Loaded Baked Potato Muffin Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. During this time, spray the inside of the muffin tins with the cooking spray. Spoon the loaded mashed potatoes into each muffin tin, about 90% to the top. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese, then place into the oven for about 20 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and somewhat crisp up.

Remove from the oven, and serve. To remove the muffins, I used an offset spatula, but you can use a butter knife to work your way around each muffin tin, and gently lift out. If some get stuck, don’t worry as it’s going down with the rest of your meal.

These things were awesome. Everything I loved about a loaded baked potato but in muffin form. What’s not to love about that! The muffin tin pulled through once again, and that made this cook a very happy person. Hope you enjoy!

Nueske’s Wiener with Kimchi Puree

I’ve probably said this over and over again, but I am making every attempt to purge items in my freezer (and refrigerator for that matter) and get them onto the table. So this past weekend, I was rummaging through my freezer and found a couple of Nueske’s wieners. At first I thought ‘why the heck are Nueske’s in here?!’ as hands down they are always devoured when I serve them, and by all means they are the best wieners I have ever tried.  So with that being said, I wanted to jazz it up a bit and that led me to rummage in my refrigerator, only to fine a half jar of kimchi. This is when the bell went off, and I decided to turn the kimchi into a puree. Yes, a puree, only to be used as a condiment for future use. If you have never had kimchi before, I say go a head and try it. I love the stuff, but my wife for example will not go near it. It’s funky, spicy, and good for you to boot!

Nueske's Wiener with Kimchi Puree
Nueske’s Wiener with Kimchi Puree

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite wiener(s), cooked
  • Hot dog buns
  • 2 tbsp kimchi puree per serving
  • scallions, thinly sliced, optional

Simple, right?

First, take as much kimchi as you want, from the  jar, and add it to a food processor. Blend until you have a nice smooth texture.

Take your bun, spread on the kimchi puree, add the wiener, and shower with scallions.

Kimchi Puree
Kimchi Puree

The end result is an explosion of flavor. First you get that great smokiness from the Nueske’s wiener, and then, BOOM comes the kimchi. It rocks. Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast BLT

I’ve been laid up lately hence why I have not had time to do much cooking. I recently went in for what I thought was going to be a quick dermatology appointment, of which turned into the doctor cutting my neck open, and laying me up at home for an entire week. To say the least it has not been pretty. I had a hard time eating as my face and neck were wrapped up in bandages, but on Thursday afternoon everything was cleared and now I am able to wear a bandage on my neck. Again, not pretty, but now I am finally feeling human again, plus I am now able to open my mouth to finally eat!

With that said, I decided I was going to make a great breakfast sandwich, and one that was somewhat healthy (yes, there’s bacon). First I thought I was going just make my Denver breakfast sandwich as my wife and I really loved that one, but then I decided that I wanted a BLT, but as it was getting a bit late in the morning, I decided I would take my ultimate BLT and turn it into a breakfast BLT. What’s not to love about that, right?

Breakfast BLT Recipe
Breakfast BLT Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 1 whole roma tomato, sliced
  • Your favorite bacon, cooked
  • 1 whole avocado, lightly smashed
  • Your favorite green lettuce, washed, and torn
  • 1 whole egg, cooked sunny side up
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Make sure you have prepared all of your ingredients ahead of time.

Cook your egg in a skillet with the melted butter. I went sunny side up, but my wife wanted her eggs scrambled, which I so kindly made for her. So cook your egg however you like them.

To the bottom piece of toast, lather on the mayonnaise. Next layer on the bacon, covering the bottom of the toast.

Add the torn lettuce, slices of tomatoes, and top with the cooked egg.

How to make a breakfast BLT
How to make a breakfast BLT

To the other piece of toasted bread, spread on the avocado.

Add the avocado bread to the top of the egg, and as it may slide a bit, take a butter knife and insert it to the middle of the bread, going all of the way through.

As I made my wife’s sandwich first, I kept asking her ‘how is it?’. Her response was ‘this is so awesome, I cannot put it down!’. I knew this would be a great sandwich, and an awesome one to start of the day.

If you are looking for a great breakfast sandwich, give this one a try, it was a real winner in my opinion. Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast BLT
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 1 whole roma tomato, sliced
  • Your favorite bacon, cooked
  • 1 whole avocado, lightly smashed
  • Your favorite green lettuce, washed, and torn
  • 1 whole egg, cooked sunny side up
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Make sure you have prepared all of your ingredients ahead of time.
  2. Cook your egg in a skillet with the melted butter. I went sunny side up, but my wife wanted her eggs scrambled, which I so kindly made for her. So cook your egg however you like them.
  3. To the bottom piece of toast, lather on the mayonnaise. Next layer on the bacon, covering the bottom of the toast.
  4. Add the torn lettuce, slices of tomatoes, and top with the cooked egg.
  5. To the other piece of toasted bread, spread on the avocado.
  6. Add the avocado bread to the top of the egg, and as it may slide a bit, take a butter knife and insert it to the middle of the bread, going all of the way through.

 

Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb

Onion bomb you ask? Yes, let me welcome you to an onion bomb. What the heck is it? Essentially an onion that is cored out, stuffed with a spiced ground meat, and well, you could stop there, or take it another step forward and wrap it in slices of bacon, and then smoke it. Yep, that’s an onion bomb, and one that is going to rock your world.

The onion bomb came out of the idea of stuffed peppers, a dish that I grew up eating.  I wanted to create something where maybe, just maybe, I could get my oldest to try. I knew he would devour the exterior bacon, and the interior meat, and my other would devour the onion, but maybe they would try the entire thing. I was correct on my assumptions, and no they did not eat everything together, but at least a dad tries, right?

Barbecue Bacon Onion Bomb Recipe
Barbecue Bacon Onion Bomb Recipe

You can do these on the grill, on your smoker, or in your oven. It’s up to you. I added them on the smoker for a bit of that great smoke flavor, but I’ll let you decide. Your overall goal is to have an internal temperature of 165.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, cored
  • ~ 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Few dashes of Maggi (optional)
  • 4 slices of your favorite bacon
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce

Start by coring out most of the onion. You can do this carefully with a pairing knife, or if you have a jalapeno corer, use that as it works really well. Leave a couple of external layers in tact so it holds up well with the meat mixture.

Add the meat to a mixing bowl and add in the salt, pepper, Maggi, and Italian seasoning.

How to make an onion bomb.
How to make an onion bomb.

Mix well, and gently stuff into the onion. Wrap the slices of bacon around the onion, securing each piece with a toothpick. Place the onion on a baking sheet and place onto your smoker (or 325 oven or grill), and smoke for about 20 minutes. Once the smoke is cleared, cook over indirect heat until the bacon is crisp and your internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Brush on the barbecue sauce, and let it continue to cook until it is nice and sticky from the sauce. Brush with more sauce, then remove the toothpicks.

Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb
Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb

Using a serrated knife, slice it in half, or quarters, and get into it. I honestly have to save that when I served this, I left the room for only a couple of minutes, and sure enough it was almost completely devoured by my wife and kids.

You get a great smokey flavor, along with the great barbecue sauce, and no lie, the interior, along with the sweetness of the onion really make this a great dish to serve. I wish I had made another one to be quiet honest with you. If you are looking for something unusual to make, give this one a try. To me it was a real winner. Hope you enjoy!