While visiting a friend recently, we shopped at the famous Nugget Market in El Dorado Hills, CA. This is an amazing store with food items attractively displayed like art. It’s a real visual treat and truly tempting for those wanting to try something different as they carry everything under the sun. One of my favorite things to do is to browse through all the departments and see what’s new. We found our inspiration while checking out with our purchase. On the counter we found several recipe cards that looked interesting so back we went to pick up the ingredients for the potato appetizer.
My friend, Yvonne and I experimented with the ingredients because neither of us really care for goat cheese nor did we want to bother with the lentils. I can imagine that their recipe would make a lovely vegetarian main course if you used regular sized potatoes…such a versatile vegetable. We substituted a milder boursin for the goat cheese and then found that the artichokes kind of took over so although our results were lovely, I am trying something new this time in my CSO. I hope you enjoy my recipe inspired by the Nugget Market’s Loaded Baby Potatoes signature recipe pictured above. Photo credit: Nugget Markets
- 10 baby Yukon or red potatoes
- 4 oz. butter
- 3 oz. gorgonzola
- ⅛ - ¼ cup half and half or more as needed
- 2 green onions, chopped + more for garnish
- 1½ - 2 Tbls. sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash paprika
- Wash and dry the potatoes and then cut in half lengthwise. Melt the butter. Coat a baking pan (I use parchment paper too) with some of the melted butter and place the potatoes face down. Bake on Bake Steam setting at 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your potatoes, they may not be done enough after 30 minutes. They should be soft but not split. Remove and cool enough to handle.
- Carefully scoop the cooked potato leaving a small amount inside the skins to support the filling. Try not to poke holes in the skin. I find my new favorite tool is a grapefruit spoon for this. The Nugget Market recipe suggests using a melon baller which is great too but I think my tool allows more precise scooping.
- Combine the potatoes, the remaining melted butter, the green onions, cayenne, and the sundried potatoes with a hand mixer and slowly add in the half and half until you reach the consistency of firm mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- You don't have to but it looks nice if you pipe the mixture into the potato shells. I used my old school spritz cookie press like my grandma used to use for her special Christmas cookies.
- Sprinkle with a dash of paprika if desired for color and return to the CSO only this time no steam is required. I had great results on the Conv Bake setting at 375 for 10 - 15 minutes. However, if the potatoes are cold it may take longer. You may wish to allow them to come to room temp before heating. Plate the potatoes and garnish with finely chopped green onions.
Here are my potatoes ready to go into the oven. I don’t have the after picture because I am taking these lovely appetizers to our USPCA chapter holiday party tomorrow! I’m sure they’ll be a hit 🙂