The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

My 100th Post:I Like You, I Really Like You and Mashed Potato, Bacon and Cheese “Pizzas”

Today is my 100th post and because it is something that might be seen as an important moment, I won’t even mention how we found out that Ru2 (our newer Subaru) has an issue that causes me to distrust the dealer and mechanic. No, I won’t mention the fact that my faith in humanity dropped a level. Just when I started to get all cheery and bright. At this moment, I want to give that man a piece of my mind, maybe even two pieces. (I don’t know what that means.)

My life involves several people that don’t suck (you just might be one); sometimes I catch myself saying their names out loud to feel better. I have a tendency to talk to myself and I often answer my own questions, even if rhetorical. I think this is natural, especially if you have a husband that doesn’t listen very well. He may not hear me but he certainly supports me so that makes up for most of those occasions. I’m not saying I don’t roll my eyes or let out an aggravated sigh or start cursing or all of those things combined when he just stands there or says “huh” but he thinks it’s funny, most of the time, so we get along just fine. What was I saying? Oh yeah….

In the spirit of my 100th post, I want to let you know that I intend to do this for a long time. When I vaguely say a “long time” it doesn’t mean another 6 months and I’m out (unless something awful happens that will not allow me to post)- I mean making a career through growth (in many ways that I won’t discuss right now) and improvement (also in so many ways that I don’t want to get into as it consumes me already). My intention is to have this site revamped. If I knew how to go about this completely alone it would’ve been done already but Greg and I are learning (and sometimes I am learning who to contact to get this done for a lowly sum then Greg reminds me that we can do it.)

I greatly appreciate all of the comments and support, some from unexpected sources. I feel that I do have a little bit of luck (I know most of the time I am posting about my bad luck) because I have wonderful readers and I get to do this with even more passion and gusto than when I began. Thank you for allowing me this joy because without, I wouldn’t feel whole.

To show how much I care, I’m providing a recipe based on mashed potatoes, cheese and bacon. (You know how much I like you now.) This easily became one of Greg’s favorite meals and mine. The pita/tortilla “pizza” was inspired by the Town Hall Brewery’s appetizer in Minneapolis. We were drinking a few pints when I spotted it on the menu. At this point, my brain kind of shut-down while screaming DELICIOUS on its way out of commission. I think this would be great for a party appetizer, if made into bite-sized morsels, by using a cookie cutter on the pitas/tortillas. I made our meal with tortillas instead of pitas and Greg used all of the shallots so I put sautéed onions in the mashed potatoes instead. The bottom becomes crispy in the oven and perfect for scooping up all the goodies. I know I have it as optional but hot sauce is the proverbial cherry on top (that would probably make the sour cream the whipped cream but don’t mistake the two in real life).

Mashed Potato, Bacon and Cheese "Pizza"
Mashed Potato, Bacon and Cheese "Pizza"

Mashed Potato, Bacon and Cheese “Pizzas”
Serves 4

4 pitas (or tortillas)-size of your choice
4-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp
1 small shallot or onion, minced-optional OR crispy shallots (recipe below)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
3-4 cups mashed potatoes (see recipe below)
a few dashes of hot sauce-optional
sour cream-optional
chopped cilantro or parsley-optional

Preheat the oven to 325. Make potatoes as directed below and set aside. Over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp and place on a plate with paper towels to drain. If mixing shallots into potatoes do the next step- wipe most of the skillet, leaving a small amount of grease for shallot to sauté. Sauté shallot or onion for a few minutes until softened. If making crispy shallots, see recipe below. Place pitas/tortillas on a baking sheet and add the shallot or onion to the potatoes (if not using crispy shallots). Divide the potatoes, bacon and remaining cheese between the two pitas/tortillas and bake for 5-7 minutes then serve immediately topped with optional crispy shallots, sour cream, hot sauce and cilantro. You can make bite-sized portions by using a cookie cutter on the pitas/tortillas and serve at parties.

Crispy Shallots
Makes about ¼ cup
3/4 cup olive or canola oil
11/2 tbsp butter
2-3 shallots, cut into rings

Over medium/low heat, add oil to saucepan. I would get out a thermometer and see that the oil reaches about 220F. Reduce to low once it reaches this temp and add the shallots, cooking for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel, store at room temp.

Mashed Potatoes
Makes about 4 cups
2 lb. Russet, Yukon, or long white potatoes
1 tbsp salt, plus more to taste
1 cup milk or cream (I do half milk/half cream)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Place a pot 1/3 full of water over medium heat and add a steamer basket. Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place in the steamer basket and cover with a lid if you can, steaming the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until starting to soften. Then, rinse in tepid water and place back over the pot, steaming another 10 or so minutes until completely mash-able. If you have a ricer, place the potatoes in that instead of a masher or fork over the bowl. (This is the method that America’s Test Kitchen recommends to rid of gluey potatoes.) Place the potatoes in a large bowl and add butter, milk, cream and mash with a fork or masher until lump-free. Then, add salt, pepper and cheese.