Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Meet our newest cook, Jenny!

Hi, I’m Jenny. I love cookbooks and have a bit of a cookbook addiction. Everyone: “Hi Jenny!” Cookbooks are inspirational to me in my meal planning. I love to try new recipes and often change up recipes to make them my own. For as long as I can remember I have always loved cooking, cookbooks and anything that has to do with the kitchen. My love of cookware, tart pans and rolling pins is bordering on scary – but only for my husband. He fears I may move him out to make more room.

My mother was not much of a cook. Out of high school and working for a doctor, I often would babysit he and his wife’s little daughter. The doctor’s wife was an incredible cook and always had some tasty, exotic dish in the refrigerator for me to snack on. She also had a cookbook collection and when she purged some titles – I was happily lugging a dozen cookbooks home and that is where the cookbook love started with me. One of those titles is still in my collection, Miss Hulling’s Favorite Recipes – I can’t part with it – it was my gateway to all things cooking.

After Andrew, my eleven year old, was born, I started a Facebook group called, The Cookbook Junkies in order to socialize and share my passion. Today, we are nearly 22,000 members and growing. I review cookbooks at my website of the same name, The Cookbook Junkies, and also have a weekly column for TasteBook. The true benefit of starting The Cookbook Junkies besides the career I am able to achieve at home, has been the incredible friends I’ve met in real life and online. A few of these friends are members of the 37 Cooks team.

Home cooked meals are preferred over almost anything we can purchase at a restaurant. My favorite cuisines are anything international but being married to a man of simpler tastes, I cook a great deal of comfort food. Always on a quest to cure my husband’s anti-potato issue (really, who doesn’t like potatoes – some Irish man he is), when I saw these Cleveland Stuffed Potatoes on Food Network, I’d thought I’d give them a try. They incorporate a lot of ingredients that my son and husband enjoy – kielbasa, cheese, cole slaw – what’s not to love?

These stuffed potatoes were easy to throw together and so tasty. Perfect football food and a great appetizer for a party. We had them for dinner with a salad – and they were fantastic!

Cleveland Stuffed Potatoes 
By Jenny Hartin 
The Cookbook Junkies ™
Adapted from Patricia Heaton's recipe on the Food Network

6 medium sized russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces kielbasa, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cups coleslaw salad mix
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 scallions, chopped, 3 Tablespoons of the sliced greens reserved for garnish
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
About 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided
1 Tablespoon of honey mustard or stone ground mustard
1 jalapeƱo sliced thin

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Poke several holes in the potatoes with a fork, place on a baking sheet and rub with the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Bake until a fork easily pierces the flesh, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly.

Put the diced kielbasa in a large skillet with the oil and then turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat starts to render, and the sausage is golden in places, about seven minutes. Add the coleslaw mix and stir until just wilted, about four minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a wall of potato and skin so they can hold on to the filling you will be spooning in soon. Add the potato to the bowl with the kielbasa mixture and stir in the butter, scallions, 1 cup of shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon of mustard and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the stuffed potato on the baking sheet and spoon the filling into them. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the tops. Bake until the cheese is melted and the tops are browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved scallions and sliced jalapeƱos and serve immediately.

Can be served with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy to be here. Thanks for having me be a part of your wonderful group!