Many of you have approached me recently and said, “Mama, I’m having a holiday party and I need an idea for a tasty appetizer”. Well, I think I have just the thing for you if you want something with potatoes, bacon and cheese that will pop right into your mouth. You will be amazed at how much flavor is packed into this one bite. But actually, if you’re a bit more genteel, it will be two bites. But I digress.
When entertaining for the masses, I’m a gal who likes to do as much prep work in advance so I’m not so overwhelmed the day of the party. Mini Stuffed Potatoes are an appetizer you can prepare two days in advance. You can stuff the potatoes with the mixture, and then wrap them in plastic and place in the refrigerator. An hour or so before you’re ready to serve them, let the potatoes sit out on the counter to come to room temperature. Next, sprinkle them with the cheese and place them in a 425 degree F oven for about ten minutes until they are heated through and browned on the top. It’s quite the festive treat.
This holiday season my friends, hold your loved one’s very close. Mama wishes you all the best for the New Year.
Mini Stuffed Potatoes
From Fine Cooking
- 24 baby Yukon Gold or red potatoes, each about 2 inches across (2 to 2-1/4 lb.)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 oz. bacon (about 3 thick slices), cooked until crispy and crumbled
- 6 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the oven to 450°F. Place the potatoes in a medium sized bowl and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the thyme, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and toss again. Transfer the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the potatoes until they feel perfectly tender when pierced with a skewer, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
- Carefully hollow out each potato: Decide which is the flatest surface of the potato to give it the most stability, then begin by slicing off the top; use a small spoon (I had a tiny mini spoon that worked great)or a melon baller to scoop out most of the flesh inside, transferring it to a medium bowl. Discard the tops. Mash the potato flesh with a masher or a fork, then combine it with the bacon, 1/4 cup of the chives, the sour cream, the remaining 1 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
- I used my fingers to fill the hollowed potatoes with this mixture; it should mound a bit. Sprinkle on the cheese.
- Return the potatoes to the 450°F oven and bake until the filling heats through, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve warm.
P.S. For another tasty holiday appetizer, click here to view the recipe for Curried Scallop Cakes.
I guess you could say I’m a real “meat and potatoes” kind of girl. Actually I can do without the meat, so possibly it’s more accurate just to say I’m a “potatoes” kind of girl. I like to incorporate potatoes into every meal whenever possible. Scrabbled eggs in the morning must be accompanied by home fries, and if you know me at all, and you do, then you know french fries have to make an appearance at lunch. But what I’m here to share with you today is more of a dinnertime potato. Now mind you, I serve these whenever I have company over, and there’s nary a potato ever left in the dish.
For these Herb Roasted Potatoes, I like to use the Yukon Gold’s because they have a buttery, creamy texture and you don’t have to peel them. You roast the potatoes at a high temperature and they come out crispy and crunchy, almost like a potato chip, and I know how you all like potato chips. The addition of the fresh herbs just brings out the potato’s earthiness. But don’t take my word for it, make them for the family and see if there’s any left.
Herb Roasted Potatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (I used the small ones)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
- Kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and spray rimmed cookie sheets with cooking spray. Using a mandolin, so that your potato slices will be uniform in size, slice your potatoes to about 1/8” thick. Place them in a large bowl.
- Add your fresh herbs to the bowl, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Drizzle enough olive oil over the mixture only to lightly coat the potatoes, and with your hands toss the ingredients until each potato slice is coated.
- Lay the potatoes out on the cookie sheets in one layer and place in the oven, on the center rack.
- About half-way through baking, using a metal spatula, flip the slices over so that the other side of the potato will brown
- Roast for about 25 minutes, or until potatoes are nice and golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt (if desired). Serve immediately.
The potato gets a bum rap. In the colorful world of vibrant green, red, orange and yellow vegetables the potato is like a poor, little hobo. All dirty and dusty, drab in color, with pock marks all over him. But oh, the glorious things you can do with a potato. I would have to say he gets the vote as my favorite vegetable. You can mash him, fry him, bake, roast or scallop him. He can be stuffed, made into a chip or even a salad. He’s a versatile little fellow.
But mama loves her fries. There, I’ve said it, I’m coming clean. French fried potatoes are my absolute favorite food. That being said, I don’t find cooking anything in a vat of oil all that appetizing. So, when I’m at home I like to make my fries in the oven, and they’re just as good. No, actually better. These are lightly tossed with some olive oil, parsley, coarse salt, fresh black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and then topped off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. For me they’re a meal in itself!
Baked Parmesan Fries
3-4 medium russet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced fine
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Peel 3-4 russet potatoes. Cut in half length-wise then cut each half length-wise into 4 slices, trying to have all slices the same thickness. Put potato slices in a bowl of cold water so they don’t turn brown while your preparing them.
3. Drain potatoes, and pat dry with a paper towel. Put potatoes in large bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to coat each fry. Spread out onto a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 38-42 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
4. Using a metal spatula, gently remove fries from baking sheet and toss in a shallow bowl with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese generously over the fries.
Serves 4 (or 2 in my house)