The inspiration for this recipe came about when I was wondering what to make for a vegetable side dish to go along with the roasted chicken we were having for dinner. Initially I was going to use up some fresh cauliflower and broccoli we had left from the weekend and make up some sort of cheese gratin. However, I really wanted something different.
The first part of making these is baking the potatoes. I baked 6 small potatoes for 1 1/4 hours in my toaster oven at 375 degrees. I wanted to add some flavor to the skin as well. The skins were coated with some olive oil and kosher salt and a slit made in the center of each potato prior to baking.
When the potatoes are baked through, let them rest for a bit. Take a knife and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the potato and place in a large bowl. With a potato masher, mash the potatoes while they are still warm.
Put the skins back in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes until they firm up for filling later on.
So here is how the rest of it played out.
- 2 cups onion - rough dice
- 6 strips of bacon - cut about 1/2 inch wide
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Shredded Cheddar cheese for topping
Do not drain the bacon fat at this point. In the same skillet over low heat, add in the onions and two big pinches of black pepper. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until they are caramelized. This takes about 20 minutes. When the onions are done, transfer to a small bowl.
Next, cook the broccoli and cauliflower florets in water for about 3-5 minutes. You want these ingredients somewhat cooked ahead. Drain, cool and rough chop both vegetables.
In the bowl with the potato "meat", add in the sour cream, the crushed red pepper flakes and some milk. Finish mashing and mixing, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add in the Parmesan cheese, the broccoli and cauliflower and the caramelized onions. Mix well to combine. You may have to adjust and add in a little more milk or sour cream.
Bake on a cookie sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven until the cheese has thoroughly melted. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Note: If you do not have fresh cauliflower or broccoli, substitute with frozen. Just be sure to make sure it is well drained.