Loaded Mashed Potatoes
WHAT YOU NEED
- 3 pounds red potatoes, skin on, washed, and quartered
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus 3-4 teaspoons or enough to taste
- 4 strips thick cut smoked bacon, medium diced
- 1 ¼ cups Cacique® Crema Mexicana
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups shredded Cacique® Queso Quesadilla cheese
- 3-4 Tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
- 2 strips thick cut smoked bacon
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
HOW TO MAKE IT
- In a medium pan, place potatoes, enough water to cover, and 2 teaspoons salt. Boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, cook the diced bacon in a medium non-stick skillet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Heat the crema and butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Mash the potatoes while still hot with the hot crema/butter mixture.
- Stir in 3-4 teaspoons salt (or enough to taste), ground pepper, and the cheese until melted. Then, stir in the warm, cooked bacon with the rendered fat and the chopped parsley or cilantro. Garnish the top with caramelized bacon if desired.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy aluminum foil. Place a baking rack on top of the lined baking sheet and arrange the bacon slices across the rack next to each other (no overlapping). In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup and mustard together. Brush half of the mixture over the top of the bacon strips, and bake for 12 minutes.
- Turn the bacon over and baste with the remaining syrup/mustard mixture. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the bacon strips are crispy. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle ground black pepper on top of the bacon strips. Let the bacon rest on the rack for 5 minutes, roughly chop the strips, and garnish top of the loaded mashed potatoes with them.