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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fennel and Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes

I know, I know, I've been slacking.  But come on, procrastination takes a lot of work.  You know?

So, here's a funny story about this recipe.  The stuffing for these potatoes was never actually intended to be a stuffing for these potatoes.  In fact, the stuffing was the result of a hilarious attempt for my friend Nina and I to create our very own "My Drunk Kitchen."  If you're not familiar with MDK, check it out on YouTube.  Unless you're easily offended by swearing, drunkenness, or unsanitary food prep conditions (seriously, every episode she drops something on the floor and uses it any way!).

Our version of the show definitely included swearing and drunkenness, but I happen to know how to cook, so that makes my show pretty rad, right?  Starting this thing, I had no idea what we were going to make.  We just picked up some random produce from the store, and I basically made up the recipe on the fly.  Because I am awesomeAnyhow, we were rolling the stuffing in phyllo dough and then baking it.  No biggie.  Except that when I tried one from the first batch, I LOVED it!  I hadn't expected them to taste so good!  Or even turn out right, since phyllo is the evilest ingredient ever to work with ever.

The next day, I woke up thinking about how awesome the phyllo triangles (or rhomboids, or octagons, I was having difficulty making shapes at that point) turned out, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what I put in them.  So I re-watched the video we took, laughed hysterically with myself for a while, and made a mental note to do this again some time.

Anyhow, the potato contest is still going on over at Taste of Home.  So for Easter last weekend, I used the filling to make stuffed baked potatoes.  It was a brilliant idea, though a little more time-consuming than I would have liked, and I got a little carried away with the mustard and vinegar (note to self: more is not better until you have actually tasted the food to gauge whether a half a cup of vinegar is necessary).  So below is the recipe with smaller amounts of the mustard and vinegar than what I used Sunday.  Add more as you see fit [taste it first, though!!!]

Also, the cheese looks weird in the pic because the store I went to didn't have any vegan cheddar, only pepper jack.  Which was cool, but not what I wanted.  I recommend sticking with cheddar, but hey, it's a free country.  You do what you want.

 6 large baking potatoes
1 cup diced sweet onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced fennel bulb
1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried dill
1/2 cup vegetable broth
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

 Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Scrub potatoes and poke them several times with a fork.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 1 hour.
While the potatoes are baking, saute the diced onion in a large saute pan for about 5 minutes, until soft.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add fennel and 1-2 Tbsp water, and saute 5 minutes, or until fennel is tender.  Add broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.  Stir in mustard and vinegar and dill until well combined.  Set aside until potatoes are done.
When potatoes are cooked through, carefully cut each one in half, lengthwise.  Scoop out flesh, keeping shells in tact.  Place the potato in a medium mixing bowl and repeat with all potato halves.  Coarsely mash potatoes with vegetable broth.  Add the potato mix and cheese to the veggie mix, and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stuff shells with mixture (shells will be very full but that's OK).  Place stuffed shells in a 9x13 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, until potato mixture is cooked through.

So, this makes a lot of food.  If you're serving it as a side, you've got 12 servings.  As a main dish, you have 6 servings.  Yay, math!

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