Friday, August 16, 2013

Disaster Chef: Pesto Potatoes (Pinterest Project #3) #foodiefriday

I had a different post planned, but by special request I am postponing that one for a success story: Twice Baked Pesto Potatoes.

I was helping my mom make a family dinner and she had some pesto she wanted used up, so of course the first place I looked was Pinterest (where else)? I was working on Project Pinterest, after all.

I found a recipe for twice-baked pesto potatoes, and though I was skeptical, I gave it a shot. As you can see by my parenthesis'ed comments, I altered a lot of it!

Here was the recipe, from the fantasically photographed See You In the Morning. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous of how pretty hers turned out. But without further ado...

3 russet potatoes (or any kind of good baking potatoes)
2/3 cup arugula pesto, or other pesto (I used regular basil pesto and it turned out delicious)
2/3 cup creme fraiche (I just used sour cream here, since I'm not fancy)
1/3 cup parmesan, grated, plus more for sprinkling
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I skipped this, since my pesto was garlic-heavy already)
1 tbsp chives, chopped (didn't have chives, so I used green onions)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Wash the potatoes well. With a sharp knife score around the diameter of the potato, just piercing the skin. This makes it easier to cut in equal halves (I did not do this, but it's a good idea. If you don't do this, pierce the potatoes with a knife or fork so they won't explode all over your oven). Bake the potatoes for about an hour, until cooked all the way through. Remove from oven, and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Cut each in half. 
Scoop out the potato from the skins and put into a medium bowl. Fold in the other ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Spoon back into the potato skins. Arrange on baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes longer until they are golden and melty. 
As I said, I wasn't sure how they'd turn out, as I'd never used pesto on much of anything but pasta. But they were actually quite tasty, and my brother-in-law promptly asked for the recipe. The only drawback to this was not the fault of the recipe (which was fantastic!), but my own. 
See, my mom had just dug the potatoes from her own garden, and a few had nicks in them from the digging fork. I washed them well, but I guess I didn't dig into the little gouges, because my poor husband got a few very sandy bites near the end of his! So a little tip for people using homegrown potatoes...cut out any places where the digging fork might have punctured the skin. Even if it looks all clean, some sand might have worked its way in there!

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