Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mini Twice Baked Potatoes with Chorizo


Everybody already knows that you can’t go wrong with anything that is potato. Put two favorite potato side dishes like potato skins and mashed potatoes together and it’s just double amazing. Topped with crispy chorizo and chopped chives, these mini twice baked potatoes are a pass around snack that no one will want to pass up.

I knew these were going to be good before I could even take a bite. Not just because of the “everything that is potato is good” theory, but because I could eat them with my nose first. While the potatoes were roasting, the chorizo sizzled in the pan, and the chives sat freshly cut on the cutting board, all of the smells in the kitchen melded in my senses, and I could actually already “taste” how everything was going to come together in the end—delicious, by the way. 

With all its garlic and spice, chorizo makes itself so easy to love. I’d probably put chorizo bits on ice cream and insist they were the best sprinkles I've ever tasted. Of course, putting them on potatoes is a bit more feasible, and as it turns out, a lot more delicious (I’m assuming). The chorizo makes the dish. With the freshness of the chives and a dusting of chili powder on top for extra smokiness, the flavors are a small but welcome spin on a traditional loaded baked potato.

Before you twice bake the potatoes, you will have to scoop out the flesh from the skins and make the littlest batch of mashed potatoes you've ever made in your life. I provided a standard recipe with butter, etc. but if you have a favorite way of doing it go right ahead. Either way, you will want the potatoes to be as smooth and fluffy as possible, which is why I recommend using a mill or ricer. If you'd like, you can serve the potatoes with sour cream on the side. If serving as passed hors d'oeuvres or party snacks, you could also put a small dollop of sour cream on top before adding the chorizo and chives to help keep the toppings in place. 

Mini Twice Baked Potatoes with Chorizo
Yield: 25
-  1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes
-  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-  Salt and pepper
-  4 ounces (or about 2 links) uncooked chorizo sausage, finely diced
-  2 tablespoons butter
-  2 tablespoons heavy cream, sour cream, or Greek yogurt
-  2 tablespoons chopped chives
-  Chili powder
1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the potatoes with the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake on a foil-lined tray for 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°F. Poke each potato a few times with a fork and bake 30-40 minutes more until a fork easily slides out. While the potatoes are baking, cook the chorizo in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
2) Cut each potato in half. Using a paring knife, carve a circle along the perimeter of the potato, then scoop the potato flesh into a bowl with a spoon, reserving the skins/potato “cups” on the side. (You will need to work fairly quickly, as you don’t want the potatoes to get too cool before adding the butter, etc.) Mash the potato until smooth. For an even smoother consistency, you can also push the potato through a ricer or food mill before mashing. Mix in the butter and heavy cream, and add salt and pepper to taste.
3) Using a piping bag, squeeze the mashed potatoes into each potato skin cup. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes to reheat. Top with chorizo, chopped chives, and chili powder to serve.


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