Stuffed Potato Appetizers (Bolognese Potatoes)
Our family loves potatoes, any kind of potatoes. They're filling and delicious, especially when they're baked. Personally, I love the crunchy exterior and creamy inside. Today, I played with white-fleshed sweet potatoes (Japanese sweet potatoes), purple-fleshed potatoes (Okinawan sweet potatoes) and regular Yukon Gold potatoes, respectively from the sweetest to the least sweet variety.
I wanted to make sure that the entire family could enjoy the trio of bite-sized potato appetizers I made, so I filled them with soy chorizo. If you're a meat lover, you could replace it with ground beef. I topped the potato bites with a cheesy crust. They took some time to assemble, but it literally took half a second for our family to inhale them all!
Yields: 24 appetizers4 Japanese sweet potatoes
4 Yukon Gold potatoes
4 Okinawan sweet potatoes
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
10 ounces soy chorizo
2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
½ cup chanterelle mushrooms, chopped
1 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley (leaves only), finely chopped
2 tablespoons garlic chives, finely snipped
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Prepping the potatoes: Wash and peel the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Cut them into 2"-thick slices. Place them in a small pot. Add the lemon juice and enough old water to barely cover the potatoes; that way the potatoes (especially the sweet potatoes) won't darken. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a roaring boil, they might fall apart). Cook for about 30 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and let them cool a little. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried (with no excess water), create 24 potato cylinders using a 3-7/16-inch (88-millimeter) scalloped-edged circle cutter (or any circle cutter). Note: Depending on the size of the potatoes, you might be to able make more cylinders.
Using a melon baller, create a small cavity at the top of each cylinder. Brush all sides of the potato pieces with melted butter.
Line a baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Place the bite-sized potato appetizers onto the baking pan.
Roasting the potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes. When there's a slightly golden crust, your potatoes are ready to be stuffed.
Making the vegetarian bolognese filling:
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the onions. Cook the onions in the oil, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning, until the color is evenly brown. Add garlic and red chili flakes. Cook until fragrant. Add the soy chorizo. Let cook until slightly golden. Add both crimini and chanterelle mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the diced tomatoes. Season with salt. Finally, add the parsley and chives. Stir well.
I used the quenelle method to fill the potatoes. Using 2 teaspoons, gather one portion of the bolognese filling in one spoon. Scrape the loose mixture from the sides using the other spoon. Repeat between the 2 spoons until the mound is tightly packed. Slide the mound into the potato cavity. Repeat until all the potato bites are filled.
Sprinkle the appetizers with mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven for another 5-7 minutes until there's a crunchy cheese crust.
Garnish with parsley and chives.
The vegetarian chorizo (click on the link for the recipe) has a similar texture to ground beef. You can also find it ready-made at Trader Joe's. My husband Lulu is a vegetarian but if you're a carnivore like me, you can always use the real thing.
For a healthier (and vegan) version, substitute olive oil for the butter and omit the cheese topping.
You can find Okinawan sweet potatoes in Asian markets. Check out Galleria Market. The address is 3531 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95061.
It's important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly.
Lemon juice prevents the potatoes from turning dark.Published By: on June 16, 2011.