Stuffed potatoes make a meal

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Here is a great side dish that can also be served as the main dish along with some steamed or grilled asparagus.

The kids will love these rich bacon-laced potatoes and so will you.

Bacon and Four-Cheese Scalloped

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1 lb apple wood bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled

1 and one-half tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing

one-half cove garlic

one-third cup shredded mozzarella cheese

one-third cup shredded asiago cheese

one-third cup shredded raclette or comte’ cheese

2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and sliced one-eighth inch thick

salt and fresh ground pepper

2 cups heavy cream

one-fourth tsp freshly grated nutmeg

one-fourth cup grated Parmesan cheese

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Generously brush a large skillet with butter, then rub with the garlic.

Combine the mozzarella, asiago, and raclette in a bowl. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes, spreading them out. Sprinkle with three-fourth teaspoon salt, half of the cut up butter, half of the shredded cheese and blend. Add pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with half the crumbled bacon. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with three-fourth teaspoons salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cream over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg. Simmer three minutes. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut up butter.

Generously brush a shallow baking dish with butter. Slide the potatoes into the dish; arrange with a fork, if desired. Sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining bacon and the Parmesan.

Then add the remaining shredded cheese and blend. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let rest five minutes before serving.

Grilled Asparagus

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat and oil the grates.

Place the trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet. Add the chopped garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Place on the grill directly or in a grill basket.

Or you can use a grill pan on the stove. Grill until just tender and lightly charred, about five minutes.

You can also drizzle reduced balsamic vinegar over these and they are terrific! Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.

Laura Clements is the food columnist for The Demopolis Times.