Monday, March 23, 2015

Plumber's Twice-Baked Potatoes

Like many avid cooks, I have a very genial relationship with several people who work in the produce department of my regular grocery store. I often ask them to slice a cabbage in half or when certain things are in season. Shopping for the Bilinski's ​Healthy Kale ​Balsamic Chicken Sausage Challenge, however, one of these genial gentleman helped me name these tasty twice-baked potatoes.

See, I was looking for leeks. Finding none, I approached him to ask, "Do you guys have any leeks today?"

"Thank God," he said, looking relieved. "Are you the plumber? We've been waiting for you for hours!"

It took me a beat to understand the pun, and it took him only moments to locate some of the delicious veggies for me. But since these twice-baked potatoes are full of leeks (leaks!) and kale (which is good for your, ahem, plumbing) the dish's title was born!

Serve these potatoes as a light main dish or a delicious side with the protein of your choice.

Plumber's Twice-Baked Potatoes

by Kate
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Serves four as a main course, up to eight as a side

​4 medium russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2-3 leeks (halved, sliced thin and rinsed well)
Salt and pepper to taste
​2 Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausages, diced
1 cup white cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup light sour cream
Several ribbons of fresh kale to garnish (optional)
Special equipment: Aluminum foil, mixer (optional)

​Preheat your oven to 400°F in order to bake the potatoes the first time. After washing them well, pierce each potato all over with a fork, then wrap the spuds in aluminum foil. Bake for about 90 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender to the touch. Set aside and allow to cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, set a medium sauce pan on the stove over medium heat. Add your butter and olive oil, and once melted, stir in your leeks. Season with salt and pepper, and saute the leeks for about 10 minutes until they're tender, but not brown, turning down the heat to medium-low if necessary.

Add the Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausages, ​stirring the meat into the leeks and cooking until edges are crisp, about 3-5 minutes longer. Scoop leak and sausage mixture into the bowl of your mixer - if you have one. If not, transfer to a bowl in which you can use a masher.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them carefully in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out the tender interior of the potato, leaving only a shell of intact potato near the skin. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place the shells upon it.

Place the scooped potato into the bowl with your leeks and sausage. Turn the mixer on low - do not over mix or you risk gummy potatoes - and gently mash everything together. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese to the bowl along with the sour cream. Season well with salt and pepper, salting aggressively. Gently mix again.

Spoon your filling into the prepared potato shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and ribbons of kale, if desired. In your still 400°F oven, bake the potatoes again for about 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is crisp and golden brown.

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