The Great Potato Fakeout

November 8, 2012

 

Greetings from Buttgate! I am still walking like The Penguin (where’s my umbrella?) but I think things are easing slightly, pain-wise, although I am frustrated with how long it’s taking to return to normal. Thank you, 40′s!

But I’m going to change the subject; nobody wants more Fox News updates re: my backside.

Onward.

***

A Wee Memo to the World: Human beings, particularly those of the female persuasion, have a passionate love affair with carbohydrates. As a young girl, I loved nothing better than a Saturday morning bowl of Uncle Ben’s converted rice, slathered in butter. Mashed potatoes? On board. Pasta with bacon? Bring it, baby. And guess what? The Carb Fairy never once slithered through my window and put an extra five pounds under my pillow. Well, until I had children. But I didn’t have my first child until I was almost 32-years old, so I think carbs and I had a pretty good run, don’t you think?

All of this anti-carb stuff in the media lately makes me a little nuts. A potato is not your ass’s assassin, unless you deep fry that potato in bacon fat, top it with more bacon, add a truckload of cheese, and snarf the dang thing at every meal.

I remember reading an interview several years ago with Gwyneth Paltrow (eww) during a press junket, and when asked about her dietary regimen she replied, “Oh yes, of course. It is lovely to have a little drop of food once in awhile.”

The only time I’ve eaten a “little drop of food” was after a particularly grisly tonsillectomy.

Alas, my arse is  a bit  a lot older than when I popped out delicious Miss D., so I have to be more judicious in my carb consumption. However, I will never give carbohydrates up (nevernevernever! Che! Che!).  Carbohydrates bring joy and little pink butterflies to my life.

While I can’t subsist exclusively on them anymore, now that I’m mainlining wrinkle cream and wearing jeans that have “stretch” in them, I’m still going to eat them, dammit.

I just may have to use a few tricks and stealth maneuvers in my aged years. Maneuvers to help me figure out a way to eat them and not blow the hind-end out of my “stretch” jeans. With age comes wisdom, right? Jesus, I hope so. Otherwise, I’m already rolling down the big hill.

This recipe from Food Network magazine intrigued me. In the past, I’ve made mashed cauliflower, (sorta successful at tasting like potatoes but not quite there) but I preferred this recipe because I got to eat my cauliflower and my potatoes, too. Plus it has a splash of bacon, and bacon makes the world a better place.

Guess what? I served this sneaky devil to my family and they scarfed it down. They had no idea it was any different from the twice-baked potatoes I serve on a regular basis. I am waiting for my Certificate of Awesomeness to arrive in the mail any day now.

I made a few modifications, because the original recipe intended for the stuffed potato to be the main dish at the meal, and I wanted to serve it as a side. I also substituted some Parmesan cheese for the cheddar, for extra punch.

Whether you are young or old, if your belly is craving some carbohydrate action, I’d encourage you to try these. I think it will be a welcome surprise.

Sneaky Stuffed Potatoes

slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine

serves 6

 

3 slices bacon

6 small (about 4 oz. each) russet potatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups cauliflower florets (cut from about 1 small head)

1/2 cup buttermilk (may need a bit more)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon white vinegar (I used white balsamic)

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese

freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

 

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Open oven and prick potatoes (several times) with a fork; shut door and bake another 15-20 minutes.

In a medium pot, bring a cup of water to a boil. Place cauliflower in a steamer basket; set in pot and cover with a lid. Steam cauliflower for 6-8 minutes, or until almost falling apart.

Place steamed cauliflower, buttermilk, garlic, vinegar, paprika, bacon drippings and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add pepper to taste.

Slice a thin layer off the top of each potato. Scoop out the potatoes, leaving about 1/4-inch border (to form a wall). Mix the scooped potato flesh with the cauliflower mixture, adding more buttermilk if the filling seems dry. Add parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Scoop potato/cauliflower mixture back into potato shells. Top each potato with a tablespoon of grated cheddar and some bacon crumbles. Bake until filling is hot and bubbly, at 400 degrees, for about 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

ps: Ass update. Still needing painkillers and the donut, so I’m sorry if you haven’t seen me around. I’ll be back, I swear!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Katybeth November 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Glad you are feeling a little bit better….Those potatoes look so good. Nothing evil about carbohydrates in moderation. White rice, in a bowl slathered with butter. Yes. Anyway. these potatoes look good enough to try and I’m a fan of cauliflower. Win. Win.
I do hope you family is sensitive to you plight and you are not the butt of any jokes during your recovery!

Reply

TKW November 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Katybeth,

My girls think my Penguin Waddle is hilarious, so yeah, I’m getting laughed at!

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Erica November 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Cauliflower (cooked) is evil. Bacon is heaven. ;)

I had both of my kids in my 20′s and my metabolism shut down at 32 too… Carbs stuck to me like cement. But I’m not willing to totally give them up either.

Keep enjoying those meds!

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Heather November 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I’m picturing you waddling like a penguin and I simply cannot stop giggling. I can’t help myself! Probably because I know you are on the mend enough to have a little bit of snark back in your step ;)
I’m skeptical about these potatoes girlie. As a true blue, farm raised, Midwest girl I’m kinda fond of my carbs. My ass isn’t but we could go on all day about that. Cauliflower and I don’t really get along though. There’s just something about it I can’t bring myself to like. I’m willing to give it a shot because it’s mixed. Can’t say the munchkins will go for it. Thing 2 is oh so picky these days. But it *does* have bacon. And, yes, bacon is what makes the world go round ;)

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Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes November 9, 2012 at 5:01 am

I was drooling by the time I got to ‘bacon crumbles’.
Get well soon!

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Jane November 9, 2012 at 7:14 am

Your Certificate of Awesomeness is on its way! Can’t wait to fool my family with this one! (Pinning this, too, to spread the awesomeness that is you!)

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TKW November 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Jane,

Thank you! If I weren’t such a dinosaur, I’d know more about Pinterest, but alas, I am daft. I appreciate it, though!

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Arnebya November 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

Glad your butt can check the slightly better box. I have unfortunately passed on the love of carbs to both of my girls (the oldest one in astronomic proportions). Potatoes are probably my favorite (I made potato soup a few weeks ago and was surprised at just how good it turned out). Also, mmmm bacon.

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Lisa Eisan November 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

Potato bread, potato ckes, potato soup, mashed potato (with butter and cream), roast potatos, scalloped potato, stuffed potato……

I think when I die, I shall request to be intered in a potato plot!

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Contemporary Troubadour November 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

Yay for slightly better! I am so there with you on the bacon. We are having breakfast-at-dinner tomorrow and I don’t think it should invoke this much excitement. But there you go …

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Jamie November 9, 2012 at 11:39 am

I HATE GWYNETH PALTROW! I would feel bad about it, if she weren’t such a smug pug about her “higher spiritual plane” and borderline anorexic eating habits.

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TKW November 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Jamie,

I knew I liked you.

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Kristen @ Motherese November 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I LOVE cooked cauliflower, but my husband loathes it. I bet I could sneak these suckers past him, but my downfall would be the smell of the cauliflower while it’s steaming. He just can’t abide it. Maybe I’ll get one of those toxically fragranced candles for the kitchen to mask the smell.

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TKW November 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Kristen,
The smell is bad, I admit. Buy some strongly-scented candle that they sell during the holidays, like Pumpkin Pie or Eggnog. You might get away with it.

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Jennifer November 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I love you even more (if that’s possible) because you don’t like Gwyneth.

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TKW November 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Jennifer,

Gwyneth is a very self-important freakshow. Someone told me once that I kind of looked like her and I almost slit his jugular.

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suzicate November 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I’m one of the few who actually like cauliflower, and I love potatoes…and cheese…and bacon…are you still with me? so you know I’m gonna’ love this!

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Justine November 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

What a way to spend Friday night! Had a long day solo parenting my girls and now that they’re asleep, I’m finally catching up on my reading. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve LOL’d from this and the last couple of posts about your broken butt. I’m sorry you’re in pain, but hey, it at least gave you plenty of blog fodder and us plenty of laughs.

So, in a weird way, thank you for breaking your butt. However, I wish you a swift recovery all the same! *smooches*

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TKW November 11, 2012 at 7:34 am

Justine,

My broken butt thanks you for thanking it. You crack me up!

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Annette November 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Here you are, heroically cooking gourmet meals for your family instead of languishing on the couch. Lie down, already! You’re making the rest of us look bad!!

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Biz November 10, 2012 at 7:54 am

Hooray for hating Gwynth Paltrow too! Her fucking food cleanses drive me insane – she sells a 7 day “goop” cleans for $425 bucks!

I’ll take my potatoes with cheese and bacon, thank you very much. I love this idea and plan to make them this week – I think I’ll even be able to trick my hubs too!

Feel better! Hugs!

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TKW November 11, 2012 at 7:36 am

Biz,

$425? Holy fuckity fuck! I should piss gold nuggets after that cleanse!

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The Meaning of Me November 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I looked at this one and marked it to try, but then we had the week o’ no power and I forgot about them. Yours look great so now I’ll have to go dig up the mag again.

Sorry about the broken butt, but glad to hear you’re on the mend!

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TKW November 11, 2012 at 7:37 am

Meaning,

Glad you survived a week without power! That must have been annoying as heck.

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Dawn November 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Yes sounds amazing. Glad you’re feeling better!!

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