Twice Baked Potatoes

These twice baked potatoes take all of the tasty ingredients you’d see in a ‘loaded potato skin’ and put them inside the potato… not gonna lie, they’re hard to resist.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork
  • Approximately 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Approximately 1/3 cup milk (add it in slowly, and stop when you’ve reached your desired consistency)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (or more if you desire)
  • 5 strips of bacon, chopped
  • Handful of chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F
  • Rub with potatoes with olive oil and put them on a baking sheet, bake them in the oven for 1 hour
  • While the potatoes are baking, fry the chopped bacon in a skillet until it’s crispy and transfer onto a paper towel-lined plate
  • When the potatoes are done, let them cool off and then cut a large wedge out of the top of the potato and carefully scoop out the inside of the potato, leaving about 1/4 in. border of the potato inside the skin
  • Mash the scooped potato with a potato masher or ricer and add in the sour cream, milk, butter and and cheddar cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper and throw in the freshly chopped chives and bacon bits in the end
  • Fill the potato skins with the mashed potato mixture – you want the filling to be mounded up over the skins
  • Place the potatoes back on the baking sheet and put them back in the oven (still heated at 450°F)  for 15 minutes or until heated through
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Wild Mushroom Risotto

This creamy risotto is full of so much depth and flavor… and making this dish is not as “hard” as it’s cracked up to be.  It’s totally a meal on it’s own, or great in a small dose as a tasty side.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cloves of garlic, whole but smashed with the heel of your hand
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • 1  1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 lb. various mushrooms (I usually use a mix of 2 different kinds – you can use whatever you like: cremini, oyster, shitake, baby portabella), cleaned and sliced
  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
    • 2 cups of boiling hot water to rehydrate them
  • 1/2 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (one you would drink)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of boiling water and set aside for 30 minutes
    • After 30 minutes, remove the porcini mushrooms and puree them in a food processor – set aside
    • Pour the remaining water (mushroom stock) through a coffee filter or paper towel – sediment and sand will have settled on the bottom and you don’t want to eat that; put the mushroom stock on reserve, if it’s not quite 2 cups anymore add water to make it 2 cups
  • Pour 4 cups of chicken stock plus the 2 cups of mushroom stock into a small pot and bring to a simmer
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium heavy bottomed pot and add in the 3 cloves of garlic
  • Saute the garlic until it’s very fragrant and beginning to brown, then remove
  • Add the mushrooms and 3 tbsp of butter into the flavored oil, saute until the mushrooms are tender – about 5 minutes, then set aside in a separate bowl
  • Add the chopped shallots into the pot you used for the mushrooms and saute with the remaining 3 tbsp of butter for about 5 minutes
  • Add the cooked mushrooms (and all the liquid) to the shallots and then add in the rice – mix well coating the rice thoroughly
  • Pour in the white wine and cook for about 2 minutes
  • Add in 2 ladles of the chicken/mushroom stock to the mixture and season with salt and pepper – stir and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed
  • Mix in a heaping tbsp of the porcini mushroom puree
  • Keep adding in 2 ladles of the chicken/mushroom stock at a time, stirring every few minutes – add in a heaping tbsp of the pureed porcini mushrooms each time as well
  • Continue until the rice is cooked through – you want it to be tender but ‘al dente’ and not mushy
  • This whole process should take about 25-30 minutes and you will use all of the liquid
  • When it’s done, the risotto will be creamy and thick, but not at all dry
  • Off the heat, pour in the Parmesan cheese and mix well
  • Lastly, add in the chopped chives and stir

Cornbread Muffins

This recipe is great baked as muffins or in a square pan.  It’s super moist, unexpectedly savory and really easy to make.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 2 packages of Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp finely chopped chives (optional)

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and softened cream cheese and whisk together until smooth
  • Add in both cans of corn and mix in the beaten eggs
  • Stir in the corn muffin mix, cheddar cheese and chives – mix well
  • Pour into greased muffin pans or a greased square pan
  • Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes for muffins and 40 minutes if you’re making it in a pan