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May 2016

Red Potatoes with Bacon and Gorgonzola

My family refers to these red potatoes with bacon and gorgonzola as "crack" potatoes because they are so addicting! Better yet, they are easy to prepare and make the perfect side dish for just about anything. We enjoy them with hamburgers, steaks, pork chops, ribs, and even seafood. 

When selecting red potatoes, look for small to medium sized tubers as they will cook faster and be much easier to smash. Larger potatoes are a bit more difficult to work with and often fall apart during the smashing. If this occurs, simply use your hands to form potato patties. Be certain that potatoes are fork tender and lightly oil the bottom of a glass for a more uniform smash.


Crack-potatoes-bacon-gorgonzola-the-cheap-gourmetRED POTATOES WITH BACON AND GORGONZOLA

Yield: 12 potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

12 small red potatoes
3 teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt or coarse Sea Salt (2 teaspoons for salting water and 1 teaspoon for seasoning)
4-5 slices thick Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup Peanut Oil or Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles

DIRECTIONS:

1. Thoroughly wash potatoes and place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover potatoes with about an inch of water above.

2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring water to a boil over high heat. 

3. Reduce heat to simmer and cook potatoes until completely tender; about 30 minutes. 

4. While potatoes are boiling, prepare bacon. Fry in a skillet or bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes. Drain grease from bacon and after it's cooled, chop into pieces and set aside.

5. Drain cooked potatoes and let cool for a few minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Lightly grease the bottom of a drinking glass. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and gently smash each one to form a patty.

8. Brush each potato patty with a light coat of oil, then season with salt and pepper.

9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning potatoes over once.

10. Remove potatoes from oven and top each with bacon crumbles and Gorgonzola cheese. 

11. Return to oven and bake for 3-4 minutes or until cheese becomes bubbly and light golden brown.

12. Remove from oven, transfer to serving plate and serve immediately. 

 

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Sausage and Beef Hand Pies

Meat-hand-pie-the-cheap-gourmetPersonally, I love meat pies because they contain an entire meal in flakey dough and can be consumed without utensils.

I'd never attempted making my own, simply because I don't have a great track record with dough. However, I found a recipe for Natchitoches Meat Pies at Food Network and felt I could pull it off. I adapted the recipe to suit my tastes and am happy to report the dough was light, flakey and crispy and very easy to make. 

The sausage and beef hand pies have become a favorite in our household. I've modified the recipe in various ways and used ground turkey and chicken, different types of beef, breakfast sausage and scrambled eggs, and even a vegetarian version. Let your imagination run and see what ingredients you can change to create your own version of meat pies. 

SAUSAGE AND BEEF HAND PIES
Yield: 12 individual pies
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2-3 minutes per batch of 3 pies

INGREDIENTS:

MEAT PIE FILLING:

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1/3 lb Grassfed Ground Beef
1/4 lb Ground Sausage (we prefer Chorizo or Andouille)
1/4 cup Leek (or sweet onion), finely chopped
1/4 medium Bell Pepper (red or green), finely chopped
1 rib Celery, finely chopped
1 small Jalapeno (seeds removed), finely chopped
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoon organic all-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Beef Stock (Kitchen Basics is our preferred choice)

MEAT PIE DOUGH:

1-1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1 Egg
1/2 cup whole Milk
Vegetable or Peanut Oil for frying

MEAT FILLING DIRECTIONS:

Meat-pie-filling-the-cheap-gourmet1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add coconut oil and coat bottom of skillet.
3. Add ground beef and sausage and stir cook until browned; about 5 minutes.
4. Add the leek, bell pepper, celery, jalapeno, salt and pepper.
5. Stir and cook until vegetables are soft; about 6-7 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.Stir in flour and beef broth.
7. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened; about 1 minute.
8. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

PASTRY DOUGH DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut shortening into flour mixture until it becomes coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together. 
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until dough is pliable. 
  5. Form dough into a ball and flatten into a round disc.
  6. Pastry dough can be used immediately or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

ASSEMBLY DIRECTIONS:

Meat-pie-dough-the-cheap-gourmet1. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces.
2. Lightly dust a cutting board or work surface with flour.
3. Flatten each piece into a 6-inch round disc; about 1/4-inch thick.
4. Place 2 tablespoons of meat mixture on one side of the dough. Fold in half and crimp edges with a fork to seal them.

COOKING DIRECTIONS:

1. In a deep fryer or large skillet, preheat oil to 375 degrees.
2. Carefully place 2 to 3 meat pies into the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides; about 3 minutes.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pies to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb grease.
4. Transfer to serving dish and enjoy.

 

 

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos Stuffed with BBQ Meatloaf and Cheese

When making the BBQ Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Onion Bombs from the previous post, you'll likely have some leftover meat. Here's a way to utilize leftover meatloaf and squeeze an extra meal out of it.

Not only are these stuffed jalapenos perfect for a fast dinner, they also make fabulous appetizers. They pair well with garlic butter rice, brown rice, fries, and loaded baked potatoes. 

Bacon-wrapped-meatloaf-stuffed-jalapenos-with-cheddar-cheese-3-the-cheap-gourmetBACON WRAPPED JALAPENOS STUFFED WITH BBQ MEATLOAF AND CHEESE

Yields: 12 individual peppers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

6 large Jalapeno peppers, cut in half with seeds removed and stems intact (cut stems to 1/2")
1/2-cup raw BBQ meatloaf
6 slices thick Bacon
1/4-cup Cheddar Cheese, finely shredded

 DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Fill each jalapeno half with meatloaf mixture; about 1 Tablespoon per pepper.

3. Cut bacon in half and wrap diagonally around each pepper to cover meatloaf. (Start on the top and gently pull bacon to extend length as you wrap).

Bacon-wrapped-meatloaf-stuffed-jalapenos-with-cheddar-cheese-the-cheap-gourmet

4. Place in a baking pan and bake for 15-18 minutes; until bacon is slightly crispy with brown edges. Remove from oven and carefully top each pepper with a pinch of shredded cheese.

Bacon-wrapped-meatloaf-stuffed-jalapenos-with-cheddar-cheese-2-the-cheap-gourmet

5. Return to oven and bake for 2-3 minutes; until cheese is melted and bubbly.

6. Remove from oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and enjoy.

 

 Food Storage at eTundra.com