Monday, July 9, 2012

Potatoes with a side of Pravachol

I made potatoes last night.  No, I mean, I made POTATOES last night.   This weekend, while looking for mole recipes (more on that in a later post), I found a Guy Fieri recipe that I'd been stashing away for a few years.  It's no wonder.  One look at the ingredients list and you know that even if you've never had high cholesterol, this is the recipe that will bring it on.  If you already have cholesterol issues, you will eat at your own risk and take your Pravachol.  Either way, you'll die happy.

For the potatoes, you'll probably need to start with the 40 mg dose.  This is not medical advice.

These potatoes are ridiculously decadent.  Bacon, cheddar cheese, butter AND sour cream???  Are you nuts, Guy?  But they are so good, I couldn't stop putting my fork into the bowl.  Apart from all the dairy fat, sauteed onions and garlic, what makes them so tasty is that the potatoes are first cooked in crab boil seasoning before they're tossed with the other ingredients, including a healthy dose of cayenne.  Guy calls for Zatarain's crab boil, but I had Old Bay Seasoning in the house, so that's what I cooked the potatoes in.  I also used less than half of the bacon, cheese and butter called for and they still tasted beyond fabulous.

Why Guy named this dish "Goody Girl Championship Potatoes" is beyond my ken.  These potatoes certainly aren't for good girls.  Everyone knows that good girls eat celery sticks, jog five miles a day and drink lots of water.  I do none of these things unless forced to at gunpoint.

These potatoes definitely call for beer or a hearty red wine (and a big, 16 oz. ribeye, a huge Caesar salad and a large hunk of some gooey, chocolaty dessert.  And the Pravachol.).  But good girls don't drink beer.  Or do they?  I think my mother would prefer that if I insisted on drinking beer, I would pour it into a chilled glass first.  Good girls don't chug their beer out of the bottle.  Or do they?

Photo courtesy of

I'm realizing now that the reason I squirreled this recipe away for a later date was because this is not a recipe I would normally consider making--the combination of that many fat-laden ingredients scared me.  It's the kind of dish you order at a restaurant, where you don't know all the ingredients or the calorie count per serving and therefore can absolve yourself of all responsibility for eating it.  Temporarily.  So what fate would I tempt by making these potatoes?  Would poor cardiac health ensue?  Would I have my first gall bladder attack?  Surely, at the least, the three pounds of potatoes called for in the recipe (not to mention the quarter pound each of butter and cheddar cheese) would appear immediately on the scales during my morning weigh-in.

This is exactly why I got rid of my scales.  I've been deliriously happy ever since.

So here's the recipe (with my notes), with thanks to Guy Fieri and the goody girl of his fantasies.  Maybe she eats these potatoes and drinks beer.  Straight out of the bottle.

Goody Girl Championship Potatoes

1 pkg. dry crab boil (Zatarain's recommended, but you can substitute 2 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning)
3 lbs. red potatoes
1 lb. thick-cut bacon, diced (I used about 1/2 lb.)
1 cup diced red onion
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1/4 lb. butter, at room temperature (I used about 4 Tbs.)
1/4 lb. finely shredded cheddar cheese (I used about 1/8 of a lb.)
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup sour cream (I used about 1/2 cup)

1.)  Fill a 6-quart pot 2/3 full of water and add the crab boil; mix until blended.
2.)  Cut the potatoes in half and then into 3/8-inch thick pieces.
3.)  Add the potatoes to the seasoned water and bring to a boil.
4.)  Cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
5.)  While the potatoes are cooking, in a medium saute pan on medium heat, cook bacon until crispy.
6.)  Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.
7.)  Add red onion to bacon grease; cook until caramelized.
8.)  Just before onions are done, stir in the garlic and cook until lightly toasted.
9.)  In a large bowl, place the butter, 1/2 the cheese, 1/2 the bacon, 1/2 the green onions, the cooked red onions and garlic, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper, and sour cream.
10.)  Mix together thoroughly.
11.)  Strain potatoes and add them to the bowl.
12.)  Let potatoes stand for a few minutes or until cheese starts to melt.
13.)  Fold ingredients together, using a gentle hand so as to not break the potatoes too much.
14.)  Top with remaining cheese, bacon and green onions.
15.)  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 6 to 8.

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