Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Monday, November 29, 2010

I am a potato queen.  No really, that's what my family calls me.  Potato Queen.  At any family gathering that requires potatoes, I am the de facto bringer of those goods.  What can I say?  I spent a lot of time in braces, perfecting mashed potatoes. 

I have come to the conclusion that the very best mashed potatoes should contain all the yummy things that you enjoy in a baked potato.  So that changes for each person, but the theme is the same - if you love it in a baker, you'll love it mashed.  This logic brought about my Thanksgiving contribution, and today's offering.  Enjoy.

Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

1 5 lb bag russet potatoes, skinned and cubed
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
6-8 bacon strips, cooked until crispy, and then chopped
1 8 oz bag cheddar and monterrey jack cheeses, shredded
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Boil potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes at a boil.  Drain and add back to pot.

Add all ingredients, and then using a hand mixer, beat on low until smooth (or desired consistency).

Add more seasoning as desired.  These were DELISH.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I believe I have posted a recipe similar to this one before, but I think this version is an improvement.  Mainly because I brown and coat the meat prior to adding it to the cooker which adds a layer of flavor and richness to this otherwise very simple recipe.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1.5 lbs cubed beef for stew
1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

1 bag baby carrots (about 2 cups)
4 red potatoes, skin on, cubed
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1-2 cups vegetable or beef broth

In a gallon sized ziplock bag add flour, salt and pepper.  Shake to mix evenly.  Add beef and shake to coat.

Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, add olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once oil has thinned, add beef and flour from bag and brown for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly browned.  If all oil is absorbed quickly, drizzle a bit more so that the mixture incorporates into a thick gravy texture.

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or HIGH for 4-5.  The texture should be rich and thick.

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