Friday, November 1, 2013

Cilantro Red Bell Pepper Stuffed Baked Potato

     Nobody ever said that a baked stuffed potato has to look like a moronic sloth made the thing.  Nobody ever said that all baked stuffed potatoes must taste the same.  Just because stuffed potatoes are called twice baked potatoes, it does not mean this vegetable side dish must look like a salvaged leftover baked potato.
     Today's stuffed potato recipe is an elegant departure from the norm.  First of all, it is not made with a leftover baked potato, so it is not twice baked.  

     Potato Barrel Cup:
     Select a large, wide, round russet potato.
     Peel the potato and place it in a container of water, so oxidation does not occur.  
     Cut off the ends, so the large middle section is about 3 1/2 inches long.
     Carve the potato section, so it look like a uniform round smooth barrel shape.
     Use a channeling tool to cut evenly spaced vertical grooves on the barrel.  The grooves will create highlights that resemble slats and the slats should be about 1/4" wide.   
     Use a melon balling tool to hollow out the cup.  The walls of the cup should be about 1/4" thick.      
     Place the finished potato barrel in the container of water.
     Gather the potato scraps and place them in a small sauce pot.

     Cilantro Red Bell Pepper Potato Stuffing:
     Cover the potato scraps in the sauce pot with water.
     Boil potato scraps over medium high heat, till they become very tender.
     Drain off the water.
     Place the potato scraps in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced bermuda onion.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced red bell pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground chile guajillo.
     Add kosher salt and black pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of soft unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sour cream.
     Mash and whisk the mixture, till it becomes a smooth medium stiff texture.  Add a little bit more sour cream, if the mixture looks dry.
     Place the potato stuffing in a star tipped pastry bag and set it aside.     

     Cilantro Red Bell Pepper Stuffed Baked Potato:
     Dry off the water on the potato barrel.
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
     Add potato barrel cup. 
     Sauté till light golden highlights appear on the cup.  
     Place the potato cup on a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.
     Use the star tipped pastry bag to pipe the stuffing into the potato cup.  Continue piping stuffing in a circular motion and form a nice looking conical peak.  
     Baked in a 350º oven, till the potato cup becomes fully cooked and light brown highlights appear on both the potato barrel and stuffing.
     Allow the stuffed potato to cool to a safe serving temperature.  
     Serve the Cilantro Red Bell Pepper Stuffed Baked Potato immediately as a side dish with an entree or keep it warm on a stove top. 

     Viola!  A nice looking tasty stuffed potato!
     After honing French precision knife skills and garnishing tool skills, it is easy to make several of these stuffed potatoes at a time.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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