Loaded Mashed Potato Pouches

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In my humble opinion, appetizers and the Holiday Season pair together much like wine and cheese. November and December bring family + friends alike together with greater frequency, all of which makes my heart sublimely happy.

Following our Thanksgiving dinner, we had an excess amount of mashed potatoes (thanks to you CostCo + your 15 pound bag of love!) While we usually have no trouble consuming the leftovers, the amount we had was a bit more daunting than usual and I hated to waste them. I also had a fair amount of bacon from hosting Thanksgiving morning breakfast and a variety of cheese + herbs I wanted to utilize. The end result was putting these little pockets of love together for a neighborhood gathering.

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If you’re seeking a low carb, low calorie option — try hitting up Cooking Light, because you aren’t going to find anything of the sorts in these. But my position on food is that it should be real, high quality and meant to not stress over the calories when enjoyed in moderation. I also think eating low fat foods stripped of their nutrients and overly processed in the name of “health” is 1.) an oxymoron and 2.) a huge disservice to both your body and tastebuds. This recipe calls for real butter, whole fat milk, nitrate free bacon and a good quality gruyere. Trust me when I suggest shortcuts would produce a less flavor-packed punch.

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I made two versions of the appetizer to appeal to carnivores and vegetarians alike. Each was delicious, but the bacon delivers a perfect salty crunch if you’re entertaining the first mentioned group. Start to finish, the apps take about 60 minutes unless you use leftover mashed potatoes. Just be sure to warm the potatoes prior to baking them in the filo cups. Substitute to your hearts desire with a cheese or herb that tickles your fancy.

But do enjoy with loved ones and pause to drink in the moment deeply.

There’s beauty in the gathering.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!

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Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs organic yukon gold potatoes, peeled + diced into 2″ cubes
  • 8 oz organic butter, divided
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 wrapped packet (1/2 the box) of frozen filo dough, thawed per directions on the package
  • 1 lb. nitrate free bacon, cooked + chopped
  • 6 oz freshly grated gruyere cheese, or a preferred alternative
  • Freshly diced chives
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 muffin pans

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 Method:

  1. Cook the bacon + set aside to cool slightly. Chop into small pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 300.
  3. Cook the peeled + diced potatoes until fork tender, drain and return to the pot.
  4. Add 7 oz of the butter, cubed and 1 cup milk. Mash the potatoes and season with salt + pepper per your preference. Cover and set aside in the pan to remain warm.
  5. Lay out the thawed filo dough and cut into thirds, horizontally. Cut the thirds in half, resulting in 6 square shaped piles. Place a slightly damp towel over the filo dough to prevent from drying.
  6. Select 4-6 filo squares at a time, fanning them out with the centers aligned. Gently press them into each muffin tin. Complete until all 24 tins are lined.
  7. Melt the remaining 1 oz of butter and use a pastry brush to moisten the bottom of each filo filled muffin tin. Gently brush a little butter up the sides and tops as well, but the goal is not to soak or oversaturate the dough.
  8. Take a freezer bag and put the mashed potatoes into the bag, creating a piping bag. Use a scissors and cut a small opening in the bottom corner of the freezer bag and pipe the potatoes into each filo lined tin.
  9. Top with the grated gruyere, followed by the bacon.
  10. Bake 30-40 minutes until the filo cups are gently browned on the tops and the cheese melted.
  11. Let sit 5 minutes, then using a spoon or cake spreader remove each pouch from the muffin tins. Top with chives + serve hot.

 

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