Monday, January 7, 2013

Arugula and Parmesan Stuffed Potatoes

Perfect Pairing:  Winter blues
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A baked potato is hard to beat.  That is, until you stuff it with good ingredients.  Everyone loves twice baked potatoes.  A great dinner for a single girl like me is to make a baked potato and top it with Green Giant Broccoli and Cheese Sauce (only 60 calories per serving).  If I am feeling gourmet(ish) I will drain a can of spicy Ro-Tel tomatoes and stir that into the Broccoli and Cheese Sauce.  This Fajita Potato is another appetizing option.
I absolutely loved this Arugula and Parmesan Stuffed Potato.  It was light and fresh.  The peppery arugula and fresh lemon juice were just the things to counteract the winter blues that show up around this time of year. 
After the potato is baked you spoon out most of the flesh and mash it with the dressing and a good amount of parmesan cheese.  Scoop the potato back into the skin and top it off with dressed arugula and a little more freshly grated parmesan. 
The homemade dressing includes two coddled egg yolks.  Basically that means the egg (still in its shell) is dropped into boiling water for a couple of minutes.  The egg is just slightly cooked.  I know this might frighten some folks, even though it is pretty standard practice for restaurant-style Caesar dressing.  If you are not digging the undercooked egg you could use your favorite store bought Caesar or Oil and Vinegar dressing.  If you do use the store bought variety I would recommend a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to maintain some of the brightness. 

Arugula and Parmesan Stuffed Potatoes
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing

Ingredients:
·         6 large baking potatoes
·         2 Tb canola or vegetable oil
·         Kosher salt
·         2 tsp Dijon mustard
·         3 Tb fresh lemon juice
·         2 Tb honey
·         2 Tb white wine vinegar
·         3 Tb olive oil
·         2 coddled egg yolks*
·         Salt and pepper, to taste
·         5 oz arugula
·         1 cup freshly grated parmesan, divided
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash and dry the potatoes.  Pierce each potato about 5 to 8 times with a fork.  Toss the potatoes with canola or vegetable oil in a large bowl until they have a light coating of oil.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack.  Bake for 1 hour, or until the skin is crisp and the potato is soft when tested with a knife.  If you need to hurry the process along you can microwave the potatoes for a couple of minutes before you bake them, but don’t have them in the microwave for too long.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the dressing.  In a small bowl combine the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, vinegar, and olive oil.  Whisk briskly to combine.  Add in the coddled egg yolks and whisk to combine, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary. 
Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly, just enough so they can be handled.  Cut a slit in the top of the potato and squeeze the ends together to open the potato.  Scoop out about 75% of the potato flesh and add to a large bowl.  Mash gently with a fork.  Stir in about half of the dressing (reserve the remaining half for the arugula) with the mashed potato and stir to combine.  Add more dressing to taste, you may not need all of it depending on the size of the potato.  Stir in ¾ cup of the parmesan cheese.
Toss the arugula with the remaining dressing; you may not need all of the dressing. 
To serve, scoop the seasoned potato back into the skins and top with the arugula salad and a sprinkle of the remaining parmesan cheese.
*To make coddled egg yolks, drop the eggs in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove from the boiling water and submerge in iced water until cool to the touch.  Crack the egg and remove the egg white, reserving the yolk.

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