First off, happy birthday to my grandpa! I hope you have a wonderful day with grandma and don’t work too hard; I know you probably have something going on.
Second, this was just a matter of time. Greg began showcasing symptoms of a cold a few days ago and I didn’t want to point it out because I believe that, for some people, as soon as you point out a few symptoms they get worse and it becomes more real. I know how much he needs/wants to be at work (being the only engineer in his field there) and said not one word…until yesterday. I could tell that he was not feeling his best when he came home, so this morning he slept in a little and felt better.
I just watched him go on his way to work but at least I got to have a cup of coffee with him-that’s a nice/unusual way to start my day. Neither of us has been extremely sick in quite some time. There are always sinus issues and migraines pop up once in a while but I’m somewhat worried that his cold will become worse and put him out of commission for the rest of the week. I know how much he hates that. Time will tell.
In 4 days is the Super Bowl and for any regular readers, you know that we don’t really care about football (or very many sports for that matter) but I still wanted to provide recipes for those having a party, attending a party or for those watching with family. (I’m sure we’ll tune in for a portion of the game.) When it comes to football, I think potatoes and chili scream game day (or starch and stains), which is where Rachael Ray’s buffalo stuffed skins come in. I’ve made these for a few years and it’s a favorite of both Greg and I. Like I said, potatoes (in this case twice baked) and a chili made with Frank’s Redhot sauce and beer (my addition but optional), top with blue cheese crumbles or ranch dressing and I bet many a person would be quite happy. If you are a vegetarian, you can simply skip the meat and it’s all good but I know that you know this (look out for my veg bean chili later this week). I’ve added a few ingredients and changed a few of the directions so feel free to do the same. This serves 4 so adjust for your game day attendees.
Buffalo Chili Stuffed Potatoes
4 large Idaho potatoes
salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground chicken breast (or turkey or beef)
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika (or chili powder)
1 chopped chipotle in adobo (for heat)-optional
1 bay leaf
1 bottle of lager or stout beer-optional
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (if you used beer, only add 1-11/2 cups)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Frank’s Redhot sauce (to your taste)
15 oz. canned tomato sauce
3/4 lb. blue cheese, crumbled (or ½ cup cheddar)
1/2 cup sour cream
6 scallions sliced on bias, whites and green parts kept separate-optional
blue cheese crumbles, ranch or blue cheese dressing for topping-optional
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the potatoes onto a baking sheet and rub them with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place them into the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour, until tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, place a large pot over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Once the butter has melted and the pot is hot, add the ground chicken. Brown, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika or chili powder, chipotle in adobo (optional) bay leaf, some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beer (optional) and chicken stock, scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce and tomato sauce, and bring to a bubble. Simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
While the chili is simmering, take the potatoes out of the oven and slice the top third off so the potato resembles a boat. Gently scoop out the potato pulp out of the skins, reserving it in a bowl. To the bowl with the potato pulp, add the blue cheese and/or cheddar, egg, sour cream, salt, pepper and the whites of the scallions (optional). Gently mix to combine. Fill the hollowed-out potato skins with the potato mixture. Place them into the oven for 15 minutes, until nice and hot.
To serve, place a stuffed potato onto a plate and top it with some buffalo chili. Garnish with the sliced green scallions, cilantro and top with blue cheese crumbles, ranch or blue cheese dressing.