Try our recipe for baked stuffed potatoes, loaded with crunchy broccoli, rich Cabot Sour Cream and Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar. Sprinkle with a handful of chopped green onion and crispy bacon before serving as a light dinner or a hearty side dish.
2 pounds sliced bacon
Baked baby potatoes:
6 (2-ounce golfball-size) baby potatoes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Cabot Clothbound crumbles:
8 ounces Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Cheddar crème fraiche:
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons buttermilk
Salt to taste
4 ramps (wild leeks), trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
To make powdered bacon (up to 4 days in advance):
PREHEAT oven to 300ºF. Top one or two large rimmed baking sheets with wire racks.
Arrange bacon slices on racks. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until most of fat has rendered and bacon is crispy. Pour off fat and reserve for potatoes.
TRANSFER bacon to paper towels and let cool.
Once cool, place in blender and pulverize; if more fat is released, place powdered bacon on fresh paper towel, top with more paper towel, and press until very little fat remains. Powder can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.
To “confit” baby potatoes (up to 4 days in advance):
PREHEAT oven to 225ºF.
Place potatoes in pan just large enough to hold them and high enough to extend about 1 1/12 inches above tops. If bacon fat from powdered bacon is cold, heat it until translucent and flowing. Pour over potatoes. If fat doesn’t completely cover potatoes, top off with neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed. Add thyme sprigs. Cover pan tightly with lid or aluminum foil.
BAKE for 2 to 3 hours or until potatoes are just fork-tender.
REMOVE from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate (flavor will improve after more time in fat).
To make Cabot Clothbound crumbles (up to 2 days in advance):
PREHEAT oven to 140ºF.
GRATE cheese with large-holed grater, spread out on large baking sheet.
PLACE in oven to dry overnight (or for up to 48 hours for most intense flavor). Alternatively, use food dehydrator on highest setting. This will cause drying, shrinking, and flavor concentration.
To make cheddar crème fraiche (up to 2 days in advance):
PLACE cream in clean, sanitized jar; stir in buttermilk.
Wrap or cover with tight-fitting lid and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
REMOVE lid and stir. Transfer half of crème fraiche to another container and refrigerate for another use. Stir half of Cabot Clothbound crumbles into remaining half; season with salt.
COVER and refrigerate as well.
To finish potatoes:
PREHEAT oven to 325ºF.
REMOVE potatoes from fat, wiping off excess with paper towel.
Cut in half and hollow out centers with melon baller or similar small scoop. Place on baking sheet.
PLACE potatoes in oven to warm for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and salt lightly. Fill centers with cheddar crème fraiche, powdered bacon and additional Cabot Clothbound crumbles. Top with sliced ramps.
Recipe courtesy of Leonard Hollander, Marion Street Cheese Market.