It’s a salad time of year, and I love a good salad, but I’m not really a just-salads kind of eater. A hearty Nicoise salad is a full meal, sure, but short of that? I want something on the side. A slice of pizza. A tangle of pasta. A frittata wedge. These potatoes.
In the most dubious honor recently bestowed upon a meal from my kitchen, J said that these tasted like something you might get at an American chain restaurant. By which he meant to say, surprisingly, that he liked these potatoes a lot; they reminded him of restaurant potato skins he loved as a kid. I liked this homemade version a lot too.
I think what J meant was–and I’m just guessing here, I will have to make another batch very soon to confirm–that these are salty, and cheesy, and creamy, and delicious. They certainly have a decadent quality characterized by the calorie-dense fare that gives standard American food a bad name.
In other words, a few of these babies are best balanced out by a nice big salad.
Stuffed Little Red Potatoes: I was using up some leftover boiled baby red potatoes, but if you don’t have cold cooked potatoes just boil some small potatoes first and let them cool a bit before proceeding. Slice the potatoes in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the insides, leaving a 1/4″ shell. Mash the potato innards with a few oz. cream cheese, a few big handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese, a couple Tbsp. each chopped chives and parsley, a dash of Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Mound the filling back into the little potato shells and arrange them in a well-oiled baking dish. Bake at 400 for about 30 mins, until tops are lightly browned. Serve a few with a green salad, or set out a tray of them at a party and watch them disappear.