Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Veggie Night!

Chipotle potato, originally uploaded by Kim De.

Now when I say "veggie" this does NOT mean a meal with only vegetables - it means a meal without meat. I think Bo finally understands that and isnt as afraid of these dinners! (much)

Last night I took a cue from another blogger (thank you Joe) and made Bacon-Chipotle Twice-Baked Potatoes. A nostalgia dish that I hadnt made in years - and had never made with chipotle peppers.

It was time for a meatless meal, so I simply left the bacon off these spuds. They spent an hour baking in a 450 oven before being sliced in half lengthwise. After cooling a bit, the potato pulp was scooped out of the skin, leaving just enough attached to retain a sturdy wall. I had forgotten how tedious this process can be, but the potatoes came out of their surgery with nary a tare.

Homemade buttermilk is one of my secret weapons. I never purchase it, as I would end up throwing most of it away. Instead, anytime a recipe calls for the tangy liquid, I add 1T vinegar to 1cup milk and let sit for 5 minutes - and buttermilk is born. I let this mixture ferment while shredding a sharp white cheddar cheese and chopping up green onions and my lovely chipotle peppers. Be warned, depending on the size of your potatoes and the amount you are able to scoop out, you may or may not need all the milk called for. Add everything else first, then slowly add the milk, stirring to see if you need more.

The potatoes and other ingredients can be mashed with a potato masher, or a mixer. Then it is spooned back into the waiting skins, sprinkled with more cheese and onions and baked for 15 minutes.

This was a big hit with both of us, and we were both glad there were leftovers for lunch! Creamy innards, with a crispy potato shell makes the warmth of the chipotles shine. I have no doubt smoky bacon would add great depth to this dish - maybe next time.

Bacon-Chipotle Twice-Baked Potatoes (Adapted from CL)

2 large baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
3 oz (about 3/4 cup) shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 Tbs finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Using a fork, pierce potatoes in a few places. Place into the oven and bake until tender, about 5o to 60 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Slice each potato in half lengthwise - scoop out the fresh, making sure to leave a 1/4" thick shell. In a large bowl, add the potato flesh, buttermilk, 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) cheese, green onion and chipotle chile - mash with a potato masher. Stir in bacon - season mixture with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

3. Evenly divide the mixture between the 4 potato shells. Place filled shells into an 8" baking dish coated with nonstick spray - scatter remaining ounce (about 1/4 cup) cheese evenly over the potatoes. Place into the oven and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.


  1. I'm making the baked potatoes for my girlfriends tonight! Wish me luck. : ) Better yet, pray I don't give them food poisoning. I hope it's ok that I am using russet instead of baking taters.

  2. I know they will be great! I actually used russets myself :)