Your Life A to Z

Party Foods

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Mini Twice Baked Potatoes

For shells:
2 lbs mini new or Yukon gold potatoes 
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Clean and dry potatoes.  
Preheat oven to 350.
Place potatoes in bowl and toss with oil, salt and pepper.  
Roast on sheet pan for about 15-20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.  
Allow to cool.  Cut potatoes in half and scoop out centers.  Season potato shells with light salt and pepper.
Can be prepared ahead and stored for 1 day in refrigerator well covered. 

For mashed potato filling:
2 lbs russet potatoes
1 stick butter
1 ½ cups half & half
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup cooked chopped bacon
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped chives or mixed herbs
Salt and pepper

For mashed potatoes:
Peel potatoes and cut into 2” chunks.
Cover with cold water, add salt and bring to boil.  
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Simmer potatoes for about 10 minutes in boiling water or until tender.  Drain well in colander. 
Place cooked, drained potatoes on greased sheet pan or cookie sheet.  Put in preheated oven for 10 minutes to “dry out”.  Put dried potatoes through a food mill or on low speed in a mixing bowl.   Melt butter, Heat half and half.  Add butter to mashed potatoes, combine and then add part of half and half - may need a bit less of the half and half.  Combine with salt and pepper. Add sour cream, cheese, bacon and herbs   Taste for seasonings.  Allow to cool in refrigerator.  
Fill empty potato shells with potato mixture.
Garnish tops with bacon, cheese and chives – in that order.
May be made ahead and stored in refrigerator.
Reheat at 350 for 12-15 minutes before serving.

Pastry Dough

2 cups all purpose flour
8 oz butter, chilled and cut into ½” pieces
about ½ cup cold water
1 tsp salt
pinch of sugar

In food processor, pulse butter into flour to form pea size flour balls.  
Place in standing mixture.  Add salt, sugar and water on low speed just to combine.  Put dough on cutting board to make sure all flour is combined.  Allow to rest at least 2 hours before rolling.  
Option – can add finely chopped herbs or pepper to give dough a more savory flavor.
Roll out to about ½” rounds and cut with pastry cutter.  
Dough can be frozen.
Top with your choice of:
-Caramelized Onions, Roma Tomato Slices and French Brie
-Roasted Squash with Bacon, Herbs and Goat Cheese  
-Roasted Tomato Confit and Olive Tapenade 

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