Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Potatoes
Executive chef Aran Essig
University of Northern Colorado
College chefs are ramping up their catering operations to compete with full-time caterers and restaurants. For Aran Essig, executive chef at University of Northern Colorado, passed hors d’oeuvres are always popular at large events. For this vegetarian finger food, he scoops out small red potatoes and fills them with smoky cheddar cheese, garlic and caramelized onions.
1 lb. small red potatoes
2 oz. canola or olive oil
1 lb. onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup bourbon whiskey
4 oz. heavy cream
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground white pepper
6 oz. smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
1½ lb. prepared mashed potatoes with chives
Chives, for garnish
1. Wash potatoes and cut each in half. Using a melon baller, scoop out center of potatoes to make a thick shell. Cut off small slice on bottom so shells can stand upright. (Reserve scooped out portions to make mashed potatoes.
2. Blanch or steam potato shells until tender but slightly undercooked. Chill and reserve.
3. In saute pan over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add onions and caramelize until golden brown. Add garlic; continue to cook until garlic is slightly brown. Stir in bourbon to deglaze pan.
4. Stir heavy cream into onion mixture and cook until it thickens. Season onions with salt and pepper.
5. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place potato shells on sheet tray. Fill bottoms with a small amount of cheese; top with caramelized onion mixture.
6. Separate eggs and mix egg yolk into prepared mashed potatoes. With pastry bag, pipe mashed potatoes into shells. Bake in oven until tops of potatoes are browned. Top with additional caramelized onions and chives.
Photo courtesy of National Onion Association