The giveaway info is below the recipe, so make like a scuba diver and keep on going down!
Some of the best food is just not pretty. It’s gooey, gloppy, brown, and not even a little bit elegant. It looks like it’s not worth the paper plate it rode in on. But when the scent wafts to your nose, when you take that first bite and the inelegance of the whole thing gives way to an explosion of flavour, it suddenly transcends the need to be another pretty dish. You plate it how you want. Heck. Sometimes you just skip a plate if the spirit moves you. It doesn’t matter as long as you get the food to your mouth. How can this happen? Isn’t there the axiom about eating with your eyes before you eat with your mouth? I’m working on a hunch about the phenomenon, though.
I call it my Frog in a Box theory.
Everyone remembers the Looney Tunes cartoon where the down-on-his-luck, unemployed construction worker finds a frog with the extraordinary ability to sing like an angel, right? The man hoards his new found, potentially lucrative critter in an attempt to make money off of it. He goes to a talent agent’s office, talks a big game, plops the frog on the desk where he promptly delivers a resounding, “Brrrrrrrrrrrr-ibbit!” The man and his frog are bounced out on their respective ears* and once the door is slammed shut, the frog sings an aria in the hallway. Oh the frustration! Darned frog!
*Do frogs have ears? I should know this. I feel a homeschooling unit coming on…
After a few more rejections the man takes matters into his own hands and rents a theater where he resorts to trickery to bring in a crowd. (Free beer and chicken, anyone?) He gets a full house, raises the curtain, shoves the frog on stage and once more, “Brrrrrrrrr-ibbit!” The crowd exits, stage left and the frog consoles the man by singing a few popular ditties.
So here’s the deal. This dish is my Frog in a Box. No matter which light, which plating, which lens and which toppings I used, these things just plain looked ugly. And every time I took a bite, I heard a glorious choir in my head. What was a gal to do? I don’t give up as easily as our poor Looney Tunes construction worker. I’m posting it anyway, ugly photos and all. That blasted frog was able to escape detection but these potatoes? They’re here for everyone else to try and enjoy. Make them. Try them yourself! Stick it to the frog!
The crispy potato shell holds a creamy Cheddar, chorizo and green onion studded mashed potato filling. Eat them for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. Plate them or hold them in your hot little hands while you eat them. Have them with a proper dinner or slap a platter of them on the coffee table for the ultimate hockey or football viewing snacks. You can even make these up to the point where you’d bake them and stash them in the freezer (minus their cap of shreddy-cheddy) until you want to serve them. Top with cheese as directed and bake. How neat is that?
- 6 leftover baked potatoes
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- ½ cup room temperature milk or half and half
- 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 2½ cups cooked and crumbled Mexican style chorizo , divided
- 6 green onions, cleaned and thinly sliced
- sour cream
- candied jalapenos
- additional sliced green onions
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Halve each potato lengthwise. (Before halving each potato, pay attention to how it naturally lays on the cutting board so that after halving, they don't tip when placed skin side down on the pan.) Scoop most of the potato innards into a mixing bowl, just leaving enough in place to maintain the shape of the potato skin. (This means leaving about ¼" of potato guts in place.)
- Smash the potato guts together with the softened butter, milk or half and half, and 2½ cups of the cheese in the mixing bowl until the potatoes are relatively smooth. Stir in the chorizo and green onions until evenly distributed.
- Divide the potato filling evenly among the potato shells, spreading the filling to the edges of the potato skins. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the tops of the stuffed potatoes.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the filling is hot all the way through. Serve as is or topped with sour cream, candied jalapenos , salsa, and sliced green onions.
I have a seriously fun giveaway that has me pretty excited. Okay, I lie. I’m stupidly excited about this. In the years I’ve been blogging here, you’ve gotten to know a lot about me; my book/movie/Doctor Who/music/bacon obsessions. It’s all true, but one of the biggest obsessions in my life is…
Wait for it…
Clothing. I love clothing. I love clothes far more than any woman who has carried and birthed five children has any right to be. I love all sorts of dresses- retro dresses, vintage dresses, modern, sleek, voluminous, old-fashioned, cute, sultry… Anything I can afford to buy and I can carry off I adore. I’ve long admired the selection over at Shabby Apple (you HAVE seen their website, right?) and I know from personal experience how their dresses are the kind of women’s dresses that make every woman feel like an old-fashioned movie star- glamourous, sexy, and oh-so-put-together. Unlike my pauvre potato recipe, their designs look good in any light, any situation, and any lens that catches them.
When Shabby Apple contacted me and offered to give away a dress from a list of dresses to one of my readers I jumped on it. I might’ve even squealed a little bit. I’m telling you honestly their dresses are squeal worthy. In other words, I said yes. Do you want to see the dress I picked to give away? Hmm? Yes? Are you excited yet? I know I’m not the only dress nut out there. Feast your eyes on this!
Isn’t it gorgeous? Shabby Apple describes the dress as being “Plum-colored folds of soft jersey fabric dip from the shoulders into a ruched waist that runs from bust to hip on this flouncy, ballet-inspired dress. Perfect for traveling, this dress sports a V-neck and fully lined skirt for extra coverage, so whether at the office or on the road, you’ll feel comfortable and beautiful.” So, so true.
Anyway, let’s get down to brass tacks. To enter for a change to win this incredible dress (think holiday parties and beyond! Dress it up with a jacket and some tall boots for the office or church or a dinner date!) just head over to Shabby Apple’s Facebook Page and like them. (That’s easy enough with to-die-for dresses like that!) Then scoot back over here and leave me a comment saying you did it.
And the nice folks over at Shabby Apple don’t want anyone to feel left out. They’ve issued a coupon code just for Foodie with Family readers: foodiewithfamily10off . This code is good through January 7th, 2012, so get a-shopping. Then you can stand around in your splendid Shabby Apple dress eating one of my Frog in a Box Chorizo and Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes looking magnificent. Maybe the potatoes will even look prettier next to that dress!
The contest fine print: Shabby Apple is providing a dress for the giveaway, but all opinions about their company and their wares are my own. With apologies to my global friends, this contest is open to US residents only. Winner will be selected using random.org on December 15th, 2011.