Saturday, April 12, 2008

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Cream*****

These were awesome! Andy loved them - the potatoes had crispy skins, the avocado cream has a hint of lime, and the ham adds a nice richness.

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8 small Idaho potatoes, scrubbed and dried
4 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces ham, diced

Avocado Creme:
2 scallions, thinly sliced, greens reserved
1 medium avocado

4 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pierce potatoes several times with a fork and wrap in paper towels. Microwave on high for 13 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from microwave and cool until potatoes are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8 inch of the inside of the potato, leaving skin intact. Reserve scooped potato flesh for another use.

Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down, on a baking sheet and bake until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Steam the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and puree in a food processor.

To make avocado cream, combine scallion whites, avocado, sour cream, broccoli puree, lime juice, cilantro, garlic and salt in the small bowl of a food processor and process on high until smooth. About 30 seconds.

Spoon avocado cream filling evenly among potatoes, then top with scallion greens and 1 teaspoon ham bits.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger's original recipe

Rhode Island Style Crab Chowder*****

This was light in calories and yet very filling. I used lump crab meat in this recipe, instead of using clams which the original recipe said to use. O also included diced bell peppers instead of the original celery.

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My version:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices ham (about 2 ounces), chopped
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 medium bell pepper, diced
4 cups red bliss potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 lb lump crab meat
2 cups clam juice, bottled
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Water, to cover
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over a medium-high heat. Add the ham, onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the potatoes, crab, clam juice, thyme and water, to cover. Bring to a boil, and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger's original recipe

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