Move over jalapeno poppers because it’s time for mashed potatoes…Jalapeno, Bacon, and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes to be exact!
ME BEFORE THE RECIPE…
Well, well, well. How’s it going over there??? Is it appropriate to talk about little annoying pests that live in kids’ hair on my food blog???
What, that’s not appetizing, is it? Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the details. Long story short, this OCD neat freak mama over here discovered LICE in our kiddos’ hair. Oh wait, that’s not true. I had no idea they had it. Here’s the real story:
I found lice in MY HAIR!!! Yes, people. I’m shouting from the rooftops what a disgusting, filthy, dirty, mucky human being I am. Well at least that’s the way I felt when bugs came out of my hair. For reals, kill me now. That’s an experience I can’t wait to forget.
Fast forward through all the torture of sanitizing my entire house, car, and kids and we are finally back to normal over here. Normal as normal gets after the trauma of such a situation. But apparently after warning all of our friends, family, and the school of the emergence of these obnoxious critters, everyone seemed to act like it was no big deal. I had countless friends and acquaintances assure me that “it happens to the best of us.”
Uh really?! Okay, sure. We lived in Hawaii for TWO YEARS where lice checks were performed at the school on a bi-weekly basis because it’s so prevalent and my girls NEVER contracted these little nuisances. So why, now that we live back in AZ, in our perfectly clean house where I have yet to see a single bug (I was used to killing nearly 30 millipedes a day on the island) do we get lice?
And come to find out, it’s been going around the school. Tons of parents told me that their classroom sent home notes informing the parents that someone in their kid’s class was found with lice. Uh, why did I never get that note??? You would think that if multiple classes were dealing with this issue, they would inform the entire school and not just a few classrooms. Kids from different classes are interacting with each other all the time from the bus to the playground.
Okay, I’m done. I’m through complaining. Six days and $400 dollars later (yes, I called professional “lice ladies” to come and comb through our hair and it was worth every penny) and I’m finally starting to feel like I can live in my own house again. Heaven help us if this ever happens again because you better believe if there is a next time I’m gonna kick my children out and have their lice-y little bodies fend for themselves. Okay, not really, but still. Ick!
HERE COMES THE RECIPE…
One nice thing about being confined to our house (I wasn’t about to infest the rest of the world because I’m nice like that) is that I got to catch up on a few recipes. I’ve got loads and loads of recipes just waiting to be posted. In fact, I’m pretty sure that some of my food photos are feeling a little offended because I edit them, save them, and then forget about them. I know, I know. Pretty efficient system I’ve got going on.
Anyway, as I was thumbing through photos yesterday, after seeing millions of posts about cookies (apparently it was National Cookie Day???), I came across these anything but sweet, super savory Jalapeno, Bacon and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes. There’s something about looking at sweets all day that makes you want to stick your head in a bowl of mashed potatoes even more. Have you ever stuck your head in a bowl of mashed potatoes??? Sounds a little enticing if you ask me.
So let me tell you a little bit about these mashed potatoes. First of all, do you like jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon??? Okay, is that really even a question, because of course you do! Or at least you should. These mashed potatoes pretty much taste like those glorious appetizers that I can never pass up.
I used ultra creamy golden potatoes (you can use any type of potato though) to ensure a rich and fluffy mashed potato. After I boiled them to a soft consistency, I added half a block of cream cheese (go ahead and judge me), butter, reserved bacon grease (judge me again), and some milk. Mash them all together, or whip them if you like them really smooth, and season them to your liking.
Oh, but then comes the best part. You fold in bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese, and sauteed jalapeno and garlic. Oh baby, it’s divine!!! And then just for good measure, you sprinkle even more bacon on top. But to make myself feel a little healthy, I throw some fresh cilantro on top. There’s your greens. Now you can stop judging.
But really, these mashed potatoes are a real star and a nice change from plain old milk and butter mashed potatoes. They were the perfect side for our southwest chicken the other night. Ben raved about them all through dinner, and I didn’t mind one bit. Sometimes I love the praise. Okay, ALL the time I love the praise. Hehe!
So the next time you’re feeling a little out of the ordinary, spice up your life with some jalapeno, bacon and cheddar. It does the mind, soul, and body wonders…at least that’s what I tell myself so I can eat just a spoonful more.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY…
- Roasted Jalapeno and Butternut Squash Cream Soup
- Southwest Cilantro and Jalapeno Stew
- Roasted Red Pepper and Jalapeno Cream Soup
- Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie Twice Baked Potatoes
- Roasted California Baby Gold Potatoes
- 4 slices raw bacon, chopped
- salted water for boiling
- 2 lbs. golden potatoes, rinsed and cut in half (about 8-10)
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- ⅓-1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1-1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- cilantro for garnishing
- Fill large pot halfway with salted water. Add halved potatoes and place on stove. Heat over high heat until water is boiling. Reduce heat to a rolling boil. Cook for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
- While potatoes are cooking, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, until dark in color and cook through. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon bits and place on paper towel. Set aside.
- Using bacon grease, cook diced jalapeno and garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove jalapeno and garlic with spoon into a small bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease.
- Once potatoes are tender, drain water and return potatoes to pot. Add cooked jalapeno and garlic, reserved bacon grease, cubed cream cheese, milk, butter, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and onion powder. Mash to desired consistency. Using a spatula, fold in shredded cheese and ⅔ of the crumbled bacon.
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Add more milk if needed.
- Transfer to serving bowl and top with cilantro and remaining bacon crumbles.