Potatoes are like a blank canvas and clearly one of the most versatile foods in our diet. If I had to pick a favorite potato preparation it would have to be French fries. I remember a trip to Amsterdam years ago when we bought French fries, or “Vlaamse frites” as they call them in Amsterdam, from a street vendor. They were served in a paper cone with mayonnaise as the condiment. I still fantasize about those fries and I still eat French fries with mayonnaise. Their secret is to par-fry the potatoes and then fry them a second time before serving. The result is a crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside, perfectly cooked, french fry! But I digress…
The potato dish for this post is possibly my second favorite preparation. I love cooking with leeks and sun-dried tomatoes, and bacon is good with most anything, so I put the three together to create BLT stuffed potatoes. These potatoes are a great side for a steak or pork chop.
The first test run I did for this post, I only cooked four potatoes to make eight servings. I ran short on filling, so I’m recommending cooking five potatoes to ensure that you have enough to adequately fill eight shells.
I like coating the potatoes in olive oil and generously covering with kosher salt prior to baking.
After baking, cut each potato in half.
Cut off the tip ends of each potato so they will stand up.
Scoop out each potato half with a spoon, leaving enough potato so the sides will not collapse.
I used a very large tip with a pastry bag to pipe the filling into the shells. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can cut the corner off of a large food storage bag and pipe that way. Of course, if you want to go the easy route, you can spoon the filling into the shells.
5 large russet potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil (for potato skins)
Salt (for potato skins)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped leeks (light green part)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup warm milk
3 strips bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Coat potatoes with olive oil. Liberally sprinkle with salt. Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Saute leeks for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
4. When potatoes are slightly cooled, cut the tip ends of each potato off so they will stand up. Cut each potato in half crosswise. Scoop out potatoes into a large bowl, leaving cup-like shells.
5. With a potato masher, mash and combine potato, butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper. Add enough warm milk to get the consistency of typical mashed potatoes. Add bacon, leeks, sun-dried tomatoes and combine well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
6. Spoon or pipe (with a pastry bag) filling into potato shells.
7. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are slightly browning.
8. Serve immediately.
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