Friday, September 28, 2012
Turkey, Bacon, and Scallion Stuffed Potatoes
Living in the east, people often don't know how to respond when they hear I'm from Idaho. Sometimes I get the occasional, "oh yeah, I've been to Idaho. We drove through it on our way to..." Other times I'll get the loud "Idaho? Don't you guys live in log cabins and live like pioneers?" But the most common response is "So, did you eat a lot of potatoes?"
Yes, Idaho and The Potatoes. Unfortunately it's our one claim to fame, but it's true. We love our potatoes. In fact, certain Visitor Centers throughout the state will offer you a free bag just for stopping by. Growing up, we often went to a neighbors potato farms to pick off all the potatoes the trucks may have missed, to take home for free. There were always more than we could pack into boxes, and put in the right climate, they would last forever. Laugh all you want, but potatoes are awesome. They fill the belly, are loaded with fiber, and are incredibly versatile.
So, the answer is yes, we did eat a lot of potatoes.
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Big Orange Book
4 big Idaho Potatoes (traitor that I am, I used Yukon Golds, I like their texture a lot better)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
6 strips bacon
1/4 pound deli-sliced smoked turkey breast, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 425.
Scrub the potatoes and prick them each several times with a fork. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper, rolling them around on the sheet to coat them with the oil. Bake the potatoes until tender, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Let the potatoes cool for 5 or 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle, leaving the oven on.
While the potatoes are cooling, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the bacon and cook until crispy golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain off any excess grease and cool. Add the chopped turkey to the same skillet and toss over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through, then remove from the heat and reserve. Chop up the cooled bacon.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each one in half length-wise and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl, leaving a thin layer of flesh intact. Try not to pierce the skin of the potato. Add the sour cream, stock, and scallions and about 1/2 cup of the cheddar to the bowl and mash the potatoes; season with the salt and pepper. Fold the turkey and bacon into the mashed potatoes and mount the filling into the potato skins. Top with a little extra cheese, a couple of tablespoons per skin. Return them to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve them up with your favorite salad alongside.