Dinner, side, or snack?

I threw together another round of my Kale Baked Potatoes, today. Something of a family favorite, but the name kind of leaves out a fair amount. Of course, a post titled “Kale, bacon, Irish cheddar, twice-baked potatoes” seems a bit wordy and longwinded… especially when one just wants to sit down and start tasting one.Ingredients- 5 pounds russet potatoes
– 1 teaspoon dried parsley
– ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
– ½ teaspoon dried thyme
– 1 Tablespoon butter
– 1 teaspoon minced garlic
– 8 ½ ounces kale
– 4 ounces crimini mushrooms
– 14 ounces cheddar cheese
– 3 pieces bacon
– 1 onion
– ¼ cup buttermilk
– ¼ cup sour cream
– ½ teaspoon olive oil
– 1 pinch salt
– 8 ounces Stout or strong porterMethod

Step 1
Prepare Potatoes for baking, while oven warms to 425-degrees. Wash, dry, thinly coat with Olive Oil and pinch of salt, on all sides.Step 2
Place potatoes into hot oven, with layer of foil on shelf below (to catch drippings) and set timer for 30 minutes.

Step 3
Shred all cheese (separating into two even amounts). I went with a nice cheddar from Ireland, made with milk from grass-fed cows, today. It comes in 7-oz blocks, so I shredded by hand with a box grater. This device seems to leave small “handle pieces” when you get down to the point where you are fingers are getting dangerously close. Somehow, those end up being “sampled.” Wierd.

Step 4
Julianne the onion.

Step 5
Roughly chop the mushrooms,

Step 6
Chiffonade the kale, removing the stems.

Step 7
Cut the bacon into medium chunks.Step 8
When the timer for the first bake on the potatoes ends, roll them over, and set timer for another 30 minutes.

Step 9
In a large pot, heat bacon on medium heat, until just starting to brown on edges.

Step 10
Add 1 Tablespoon of butter then add all onions. Stir to coat and sprinkle with small pinch of kosher salt. Reduce heat to low, and occasionally stir so onions sweat as bacon continues to cook.Step 11
When the potato timer again goes off, check to ensure core temp is at 205-degrees. If not quite there, give it another 5 minutes. Remove when it meets this temperature requirement, placing potatoes on half sheet pan.

Step 12
Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, while they are laying on a naturally flatter side. Flip over the upper half, and lay out all potatoes so they fit snugly on sheet pan. Scoop out insides into a large bowl.

Step 13
Add all herbs, buttermilk, sour cream, and one batch of the cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Mash until well combined. The mixture should be slightly dry, at this point. Cover bowl and pan of potato halves with foil, to keep warm.Step 14
When onions are close to done (well browned on all segments), add mushrooms, and stir.

Step 15
When mushrooms are softened, add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Step 16
Add the kale then 1/4 cup water. Allow kale to soften in the steam until that water has evaporated.Step 17
Turn heat to high, wait until the bottom of the pot almost hot enough to scorch the food, then pour in the stout.

Step 18
Stir continuously, to avoid burning, but cook until almost all the stout has been absorbed/reduced, then remove form heat.Step 19
Stir the contents of the pot into the bowl of potatoes. Mash until well combined.Step 20
Spoon into the potato halves, pressing into all areas of the hollow made by scooping them out.Step 21
Top with even distribution of the remaining portion of shredded cheese.

Step 22
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then broil (High) until cheese on top is browned.

Serve hot, of course. But, the question still remains: is this dinner, a side, or a snack?Less than a week until Fly Fishing kicks off, again.

You might get a break from the parade of food….

Tight lines.

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