Rainshadow Organics is very good at growing potatoes… some might argue too good (I still have preserved potatoes from the winter CSA). A true cold weather staple, it gets us through every winter as it has many cultures for milenia. It’s interesting to watch how flavors and textures change throughout the cellaring process, going from hard, mildly bitter, and starchy to soft, sweet and dense. These first of the season potatoes lend themselves to savory dishes with longer cook times and rich sauces to balance out all that young texture and flavor. I really was craving some mac and cheese, but I had potatoes on hand, so I created a hybrid with the flavors of twice baked potatoes with the preparation of mac and cheese. The brainchild paid off in droves because people were grabbing seconds. Its rich, hearty, cold weather comfort food. And since it is getting down to freezing at night here in Central Oregon, you have my stamp of approval to indulge. I hope you enjoy!
“Twice Baked Potato” “Mac and Cheese”
- 2 lbs Rainshadow potatoes, diced
- ½ stick butter
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup plain goat kefir (or sour cream)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 8 oz cheddar cheese block, shredded
- 12 oz package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 5 green onions, sliced thin.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 475F.
In a large pot, add diced potatoes to cold, well salted water and bring to a boil. Cook at a rapid boil until you can cut with a fork, but they don’t mash and fall apart (usually 8-10 minutes).
Drain the potatoes, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Make a golden roux, constantly stirring together the butter and flour on medium high heat until light golden.
To the roux, add chicken stock, cream, and kefir until smooth and thick. Turn off the heat.
Add cheese, green onions, and bacon crumbles until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add potatoes and mix together gently. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with panko bread crumbs.
Place on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the panko is golden brown. You can also just use the low broil. Watch it so it doesn’t burn!
Serve with green onions and melt into happiness.