ZESTUOUS CHALLENGE 3
Kevin, Katrina, And then I Ate It and The World in my Kitchen selected the ingredients. I love chorizo and it goes great with tomatoes, but for some reason the potato really threw me off, mainly because I had to make an appetizer.
Appetizers are my favorite course. Oftentimes, I serve appetizers (or snacks as my husband calls them) for dinner. One of the most important elements to an appetizer is the vessel ~ how easily it can be popped into your mouth without spilling it on the perfect little black dress.
I imagined being at an elegant cocktail party with a waiter approaching me with a glass of champagne and a platter of some sort of potato, tomato, chorizo app. But what would it look like?
Starting with the potatoes, I considered mashed, fried, grated, even potato flakes (yuck). But that still didn’t help. Should I make chorizo shepherd’s pie? Or a chorizo dip with potato chips? Or chorizo patties with matchstick fried potatoes? I didn’t fall in love with any of those ideas.
I moved on to the chorizo. Mexican chorizo is the consistency of ground beef while Spanish chorizo is more like pepperoni. I bought both at the store because I really didn’t know where I was going to go with this dish.
Then it hit me as I was walking through the grocery. I saw these cute little honey gold potatoes that could be eaten with just one bite. Voila! Twice baked potatoes.
Ha ~ if only it was that easy. I tried making twice baked years ago and always seem to ruin them. Today was no different. The first batch of potatoes I cooked was well…undercooked. I sliced them in half, and baked them cut side up. I tried to scoop out the potato and it just wasn’t cooperating.
So I said the heck with twice baked, I’ll try boil and baked. I boiled one potato and after it cooled, tried to scoop out the meat. Bummer, that didn’t work either. The skin was too soft to hold up to a filling. Back to the oven for one more try. I cut the potatoes in half again, but this time baked them cut side down. Wow! It worked. Now, I could create out the rest of the recipe.
The filling was easy, but I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the tomato. For some reason it was an afterthought. I didn’t want to mix it in the filling because tomatoes are so watery. I could have just sprinkled some diced tomatoes on top…but I felt like that would be cheating. So, I made an aioli of sorts. But instead of mayo, I used sour cream. After all, this was a South of the border dish.
The results ~ spectacular. My only complaint is that visually these aren’t the prettiest apps, and I wish the aioli wasn’t so pink. But don’t let that discourage you. I was dunking my Chopotoes in extra aioli and nearly licking the bowl. And when my husband came home from soccer, he devoured the rest of the platter. It wasn’t quite the visual of me in a little black dress at a fancy cocktail party, but I’d serve them there, too.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the challenge. If you want to be part of the next one, stay tuned to www.facebook.com/zestuous for the challenge announcement.
Rules for the Zestuous Challenge ~ When I announce the challenge on Facebook, fans need to post one protein, one fruit/vegetable and one starch. Then, they need to select the course: appetizer, soup, salad, entrée, bread or dessert. The first post in each category will be selected, and each person can only post once. And while it’s tempting to throw me a total curveball, like an anchovy dessert, hopefully, you’ll select items that we’d all like to eat.
Chopotoes ~ Twice Baked Chorizo Potatoes with a Tomato-Sour Cream Aioli
15 small honey gold potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
2 links chorizo sausage
¼ cup onion
Sliced cheese (Chihuahua or Monterey Jack)
Cut potatoes in half and place in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt and cumin. Toss to coat all sides. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the potatoes on the foil, cut side down. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 25 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool.
While they are baking, remove the casing from two chorizo links. Brown in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté until tender. Allow to cool.
Then chop in a food processor, so the sausage has a finer consistency.
Place the potato meat into a large bowl and mash. Add the cooled chorizo. It will be a meatball consistency. Press the filling back into the potato shells. (You can freeze these at this point. If you do that, allow them to thaw. Then, reheat the potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes before continuing on with the next step).
Tomato-Sour Cream Aioli
20 cherry tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. cumin
½ cup sour cream
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. Tabasco Sauce
Put the cherry tomatoes in a small bowl. Add olive oil, ½ tsp. kosher salt and cumin. Toss to coat. Place the tomatoes on a foil-lined sheet pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through the cooking process.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a food processor and pulse. Add the sour cream, kosher salt and Tabasco and puree. Pour or spoon onto the Chopoto, top with diced cherry tomatoes and enjoy.