11 August, 2012

Cheddar Chipotle Potatoes

I find inspiration for the blog in many places.  Trying to post something every day is difficult.  Writers block seems to come about once a week!  So what do I do?  I have tons of blogs that I subscribe to...those always make me hungry.  Then I have recently discovered StumbleUpon.  Sometimes it just takes something random to get you going.  You push the button and it spirals you through the World Wide Web to sights based on whatever theme you have chosen.  

Swedish Baked Potato from Sea Salt with Food
I was surfing around the web when I Stumbled on these pretty potatoes.  I had never seen anything so pretty.  


Except maybe the swirly fried potatoes that we had in Tonala, Oaxaca.  They looked fun, and the presentation was gorgeous...but it seemed like it would need something more to get my readers to turn their ovens on when its 100+F outside.  I kept the idea in the back of my mind...until...

I have been tasting different kinds of Mexican Junk Foods lately too.  I am not a huge fan of most junk foods but I have a weakness for Chips and there are so many exciting flavors of chips in Mexico... guaranteed that they all have chili in them.  The other day I bought these; 


Queso Chipotle Ondas.  It was love at first bite!  A little thicker than ruffles it had a deep Cheddar flavor with a spicy smokey aftertaste.  By the second chip I was already dreaming of a Swedish Baked Potato swimming in a Chipotle Cheddar Sauce.

Boris helped me with the Cheese Sauce.  I am too impatient when it comes to things that need to be by the book.  Plus I love watching him cook!

*** Please excuse the mess in the kitchen ***  We have an event Monday night and Boris was working when I begged and pleaded for him to help me with my Cheese Sauce for our Lunch.  He obliged but you can see stock simmering away in the background and a gigantic pan full of bacon bits.  I will post pictures soon of the finished products ;)


Cheddar & Chipotle Sauce over Swedish Baked** Potatoes
Ingredients:
2-4 pieces of Bacon
Flour
1+ cup Milk
3 cups Cheddar Cheese or Cheese of your Choice
Chipotles in Adobo
2 Swedish Baked Potato

Directions:
Cube the pieces of bacon and crisp *Starting with a cold pan*, remove the crisp bacon to a paper towel to cool.

Set your milk to warm in a separate pot.


Use the bacon grease to prepare your Roux. by heating the bacon grease and then adding an equal amount of flour.  Remove from the heat and whisk the flour into the fat.  



Slowly begin to add your warmed milk to the roux whisking until it begins to form a thick but creamy sauce.



Begin to add the shredded cheese a little at a time whisking until completely melted before adding the next small handful. (Place on and off the low heat as needed, just enough for the cheese to melt but not enough to thicken it up) Taste as you go, when it is cheesy enough remove from the heat completely.



In a blender puree the chipotles in their sauce until they form a paste.  Feel free to add oil and vinegar if you need more liquid.  Whisk the chipotles into the sauce a small spoonful at a time until the desired heat has been achieved.  Season with salt and pepper.

I had the tiniest little potatoes, they did not turn out as pretty as Sea Salt with Food's .
I covered the bottom with foil because I tossed them in with the Pork that Boris was slow roasting
for our event Monday night (mmm Mini Pulled Pork Sandwiches)
Even with only four Tiny Tots we killed the whole Boat of Sauce <drool>
Pour cheese sauce over the baked potatoes and sprinkle the bacon bits over the top.  Serve with extra sauce on hand.

I am not above licking the plate, and this dish called for some plate licking!

Alternatives:
*Using bacon grease makes the sauce extra smokey flavored, but feel free to use 2 Tablespoons of butter instead.
**I know that we are a lot cooler here than our friends back in the states, so, turning on the oven is not as daunting.  Potatoes presented with the slits in them are gorgeous but I do not feel like they necessarily need to be baked in the oven.  Roast them on the grill (gas, electric or charcoal). Try them in the smoker...I have it on good advice that potatoes are delicious when smoked.  Or if you are feeling especially naughty I think potatoes served in this style would be divine deep fried!  Although I am uncertain if I would serve them with fattening cheese sauce after that. >:P  Hee hee!
*** IF you have any left over cheese sauce you could use it for Nachos, over Broccoli, Potato Wedges would make an awesome appetizer... This is going to be a go to sauce for me for many things :)
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