Hey! Let me tell you what I did this past weekend…
I threw a wish in the well. Don’t ask me what it was! I’ll never tell.
I looked at you as the wish fell down there, and now, everywhere I go, you seem to be in my way!
I mean, I really wasn’t looking for this, but you insist on staying in my way.
And then there was so much going on at once:
Your stare was locked on me and holding
You had ripped jeans on so your skin was showing
It was a super-hot night and the wind was blowing
And then I had to ask you where you were going (baby)?
So it all really comes down to this:
Look, I know that I just met you.
And this is totally nut-bag crazy.
But here’s my number.
Do you think you might consider calling me maybe?
Seriously, before you came into my life I was just eating potatoes au gratin, Dauphinoise, Hasselbacked, and French fried…
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so, so bad
And you should know that, I missed you so, so bad.
So, little cheese-stuffed, buttery-basted, spicy, savory, oniony, twice-baked potatoes…
Call me maybe?
Chihuahua Twice-Baked Potatoes
10 small russet potatoes (I really prefer to use smaller potatoes in a twice-baked preparation: enormous, 2 pound, 8″ long twice-bakes are a little overwhelming to me. So I simply stick with smaller russets – the longest that I used here was just 4″ long and it worked out perfectly.)
1 1/2 c. Chihuahua cheese, shredded (Chihuahua cheese is a Mexican melting cheese most often used in quesadillas. I love it. Mild to medium-sharp cheddars make excellent substitutions.)
2/3 c. Mexican green onion, diced (Mexican green onion has a larger bulb and is therefore heavier on the white part of the onion than the green. I use Mexican green onion frequently since I prefer the solid white parts to the top, leafy greens. You can easily substitute non-Mexican green onion here and use any portion of the onion that you prefer.)
1/2 c. Mexican crema (Sour cream is an acceptable substitute here.)
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic, ground
1 tsp. cayenne, ground
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp. cumin, ground
1/2 tsp. salt
sea salt, finely ground for finishing
extra virgin olive oil for finishing
Preheat oven to 400°.
Thoroughly wash and dry the potatoes. Poke the tops of each potato several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake until fork tender. A note on baking: unbaked or partially baked potatoes will be the death of this dish. You’re ultimately going to be whipping up a light, homogeneous filling, and if the potatoes’ insides aren’t soft and whippable you’ll be left with hard outer shells and chunks of solid potato throughout your filling. It took me about 1 hour at 400° to get my potatoes baked to the right consistency – your potatoes may require more or less time depending on your oven and the size of your potatoes. Just be sure that, whatever is required time-wise, you bake the potatoes to a fork-tender consistency on the inside before moving forward with the twice-baking part.
As soon as your potatoes are fork-tender and ready, remove them from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once they’ve chilled a bit, carve out the tops of each potato canoe-style, then carefully remove the insides to the bowl of a stand mixer (you can discard the tops, just don’t get any skin in your scooped-out mash mixture). After all of the potatoes have been hollowed out, add the crema, melted butter, cumin, black pepper, salt, garlic, and cayenne to the mash and mix thoroughly on a medium speed. You’re trying to not only blend the ingredients thoroughly, but also to aerate the mixture slightly. Once completely blended and fluffy, fold in the shredded cheese and diced onion.
Using a scoop implement, scoop the filling mixture back into the hollowed shells, packing each shell generously with the filling. The potatoes will likely be stuffed to the gills and overflowing – that’s a good thing. Place the refilled shells onto a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet and finish each with a pinch of salt and a quick drizzle of olive oil (it’s OK if the potatoes are very close to each other or even touching). Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the tops are just beginning to turn golden brown. At this point you can also opt to turn your oven’s broiler on low and broil the potatoes for just 5 final minutes. Remove baked potatoes and serve immediately.
YIELD: 10 small but very well-stuffed potatoes