Baked Potato Grilled Cheese – Crazy Cooking Challenge #9

Yes, you read that title right…a baked potato grilled cheese sandwich. Seriously. This month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge was Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and I found this beauty over on BS’in in the Kitchen. I am in love with this blog, which is written by a brother/sister duo. I’ve bookmarked several other recipes I cannot wait to try!

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Let’s talk about this fabulous sandwich. It might sound a little weird, especially if you are a grilled cheese purist. Sour cream, potatoes, bacon, green onion, and cheddar cheese all combined on some yummy bread and grilled to melty, cheese perfection, and it was amazing. The husband ate two of them, and I would have had I not started watching what I eat just a few days prior. Even the tiny man stole a few bites and loved it. As is the norm in this house, we both customized our sandwiches to meet our respective likes and dislikes. I omitted the green onions (as I normally do when I have a baked potato), and the husband omitted the sour cream and added hot peppers (as he normally does when he has a baked potato). If you love loaded baked potoatoes, I highly reccmmend giving this sandwich a try!

Baked Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2-3 Strips of Bacon
1 Potato
2 tbsp of Sour Cream
Cheddar Cheese
Green Onions/Chives
2 Slices of Bread
Butter
Canola Oil
Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper

To start things off, get a pan on medium heat with enough canola oil to lightly cover the bottom (you could also use olive oil or butter). Cut your potato into even slices, you will need 4-5 slices for the sandwich, then place them in your pan, cooking each side until browned and crispy.

While cooking, salt and pepper the potatoes to taste (they don’t have to be too salty as the bacon with help with the saltiness as well) and sprinkle a light pinch of garlic powder. In another pan cook your bacon on medium heat to desired tenderness (I liked mine crispy for this sandwich!).

While everything is cooking, slice your bread (use some crusty bread like french or sourdough if you have it), and generously butter the outside of each piece. On the inside, put about 1 tablespoon of sour cream on each slice as well as slices of cheddar cheese on each side. Once your potatoes and bacon are finished frying, dab them on paper towel to remove some grease, then fan the potatoes out on your bottom slice of bread, put a little more sour cream on top of the potatoes if you desire (I did to help the bacon and chives stick in the sandwich). Slice up one green onion stalk and spread it on top of the potatoes along with the bacon. Place your other slice of cheese on top of all of this and top with your bread!

Now just grill the sandwich in a pan on medium heat until each side becomes golden brown.

Source:  BS’in the Kitchen

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Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

I’m like a little kid when it comes to eating my vegetables. Once I see them, I start the “But Mom, I don’t LIKE [insert evil vegetable name here]!” whining. I guess that’s the fun part about adulthood…you don’t have anyone forcing you to eat the dreaded veggies. Or at least until you have kids. Because now I have to convince two very smart boys that vegetables are delicious! Thankfully, the tiny man is a big fan of the veggies…I’ve actually seen him choose cherry tomatoes or sliced red peppers over cookies. No joke. How is this kid mine?

Because I need to continue the “veggies are great!” routine around here, I really need to embrace eating them, and find some delicious ways to prepare them. Let me tell you, this recipe for green beans is an excellent start! First of all, everything is better with bacon, and that’s where these bad boys start. Add some onions (which I didn’t do this time because I was somehow out of onions), saute for a bit, then add the green beans, water, salt, pepper and sugar, and voila, a tasty green bean side dish in a short amount of time! These do taste better the longer they cook…the first time I made them they only simmered for about 10 minutes, but the second time I let them go for a little over 30 minutes, and they tasted much better the second time around. If you are veggie-phobic as I am, or have veggie-phobic kids/spouses/etc., I recommend giving these a try!

Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

2 (16 ounce) cans of green beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 strips of bacon, diced
1/2 a medium onion, diced

Drain green beans and set aside. Mix water, sugar, pepper and salt until well incorporated. Set aside.

Preheat a deep pan over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon. Cook until just starting to get crispy. Add the onions and cook until they are tender, then add the green beans and liquid mixture. Stir to incorporate. Bring mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer until ready to serve.

Source:  As seen on Taste of Home Cooking, originally slightly modified from The Rookie Chef

Bacon Pierogi Bake

I made this almost 2 months ago, and forgot all about it until I was going through some pictures on my camera!  We are big pierogi fans in this house, so when I saw this recipe in my December 2010 Cooking Light magazine, it quickly made my must try list.  I am so glad we tried this…absolutely delicious!  And let’s face it, everything is better with bacon!  The cream cheese sauce was the perfect complement to the pierogies, and the bacon was a great contrasting texture.  Next time I will add the tomatoes as well…we didn’t have any in the house when I made this.  This will make our menu plan frequently, especially since it’s so easy, and relatively healthy!

Bacon Pierogi Bake

1  (16-ounce) package frozen potato and cheddar cheese pierogies (such as Mrs. T’s)
Cooking spray
2  center-cut bacon slices, chopped
2  garlic cloves, minced
1/3  cup  (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2  cup  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange the pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.

Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Top evenly with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon and pepper.

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light December 2010