Tag: Baked

The Best Oven Baked Salmon Recipe to Convert Any Salmon-Hater

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Growing up, there were very few foods that I refused to eat. They were: mushrooms, guacamole, and—the very worst of them all—salmon. I don’t know what it was exactly about the fatty, bright-pink fish, but seeing it on a plate instantly transformed me into a picky eater.

While my distaste for mushrooms and guacamole quietly vanished over the years (I’m sorry I ever turned you away, I was a different person then), my aversion to salmon persisted—until I met this roasted salmon with crispy kale and coconut rice.

But first, a little backstory: It was a few days post-New Years Eve and I had just come home from a five-day eating and drinking marathon with my parents in New Orleans—so many beignets, a few muffulettas, and endless cocktails. By the time I hobbled up the five flights of stairs to my apartment, the smell of gumbo and fried oysters was seeping out of my pores. I still felt stuffed, even though my last meal had been much earlier that morning. My body craved something fresh and comforting that wasn’t fried or doused in butter (even though I love both of those things). Which led me to salmon.

Everyone knows about the near-mythical properties of salmon—its potassium, its protein, its omega-3 fatty acids. If there was anything that would help me reset, it would be salmon, right? Luckily, I stumbled upon a popular 2014 recipe from Food52 community member, Ashley Couse in my search.

Despite its inherent salmon-ness, the dish promised many delicious things: fluffy white rice steamed with coconut milk, cubed sweet potatoes roasted in a drizzle of coconut oil and paprika, and oven-baked kale and coconut flakes coated in a spicy-savory dressing of sesame oil, tamari, and Sriracha. Factor in that the whole dish would only take me an hour and I was sold.

I prepped the vegetables and let the salmon come up to room temperature for about 15 or 30 minutes before I got started on the rice. Aside from that, I let the oven do the majority of the work. In a little under an hour, the whole dish was ready. Aromatic and lightly sweetened from the coconut, yet punchy thanks to the Sriracha, it tasted as beautiful as it looked—especially the salmon, which was soft and buttery on the inside, crisp and flaky on the outside. Maybe my tastebuds had changed, or maybe it was just this recipe, but the whole thing was perfect.

If you told me that I’d be eating salmon regularly even a few months ago, I probably would’ve laughed. But this recipe has somehow made it into my near-weekly dinner rotation. I’ve even tried mixing it up with variations here and there: swapping in brown rice, mixing in other leafy greens like Swiss chard or even broccoli, replacing sweet potato with butternut squash, or trying out different spices, like chili powder or harissa.

After all the experimenting, I’ve realized there’s really no wrong way to make it, but—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—you always need the salmon.

In partnership with FreshDirect, we’re celebrating the season’s best produce by whipping up recipes where the ingredients take center stage, like in this roasted salmon with crispy kale and coconut rice. This wholesome, weeknight-friendly recipe comes together with ease when you’ve got everything stocked from FreshDirect, where you can find quality cuts of salmon, pantry staples like coconut milk and paprika, fresh produce like kale and sweet potatoes, and so much more.

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Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Everyone knows and loves sweet and sour pork, right? Some people don’t know that sweet and sour pork is totally deep fried and not all that healthy. This is an easy, healthy, just as delicious homemade version with no added oil and no deep frying. The sauce is as authentic as you’d find in any Chinese household or restaurant, and this was so good the two of us demolished over a pound of it in under 10 minutes.

Cooking Notes
Is that ketchup in the ingredients list? Yes. Not only was ketchup invented in China anyway, it’s perfectly normal to use and is pretty much the accepted standard method to get that unique tanginess you find in sweet and sour pork.

If you want the pork crispier and you have a can of cooking spray such as pam handy, hit it with a light coat of oil before you dust with corn starch to get even more crunch.

What do you need?
A baking sheet with a rack that fits and a non stick pan.

How do you serve it?
Serve with rice.

Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork
Serves 2-4


  • 1lb pork shoulder, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (rice vinegar recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 450ºF and season your pork with salt and pepper.
Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

2. Transfer your pork to a plastic bag or ziploc bag along with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Shake well until the pork is lightly coated and then place on an oiled tray in a foil lined baking sheet.
Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

3. Bake your pork for 40 minutes, flipping once after 20 minutes.
Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

4. While the pork is baking, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1 tablespoon of water in a cup and stir until a smooth slurry forms.
Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

5. Make your sauce by adding sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch slurry, and 1/4 cup of water to a pan and bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and add your vegetables. Cook until your desired doneness and then remove from heat (for us that means almost raw).
Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

6. Add your pork to the sauce and toss until well coated. Enjoy!
Easy Oven Baked Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork | www.iamafoodblog.com

Welcome to Dinner & Chill, a new series focusing on quick & easy weeknight dinners with easy to find ingredients, no special equipment, low prep, and low effort. Less shopping, less chopping, less mopping, more eating.

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How to Make a Twice Baked Lucky Charms Almond Croissant · i am a food blog i am a food blog

If you love twice baked almond croissants, you’re going to love this twice baked Lucky Charms Almond croissant. It’s super simple and looks amazing, like you spent either a ton of money or time on it. And the best part is that it tastes great too! So many times I’ve been disappointed by “Instagram” food, but this croissant definitely didn’t disappoint.

I’ve been wanting to make twice baked almond croissants from some time now. They’re one of my all time favorite things to get at bakeries. They’re really easy to make too: take a croissant, halve it, spread some almond cream in the middle, put it back together, brush it with more almond cream and coat it in almonds. The outsides get all crispy and crunchy from the almonds and the insides are full of delicious almond cream deliciousness.

Anyway, instead of going to typical twice baked route, I went rogue and did a Lucky Charms version. Lucky Charms were on sale at the store this week and I bought us a small box as a treat. I was saying that I wanted to do some Lucky Charms foods and Mike came up with the idea of a croissant and I just ran with it.

Instead of just sticking Lucky Charms marshmallows on top of the croissant, I also added crushed cereal to the almond cream and a bit of uncrushed cereal in the middle. The result was a super Lucky Charms flavored croissant. To be honest, I was kinda of worried that this would be totally over the top, but Mike and devoured it. It was SO GOOD.

How to Make a Twice Baked Lucky Charms Almond Croissant | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Make a Twice Baked Lucky Charms Almond Croissant | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Make a Twice Baked Lucky Charms Almond Croissant | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Make a Twice Baked Lucky Charms Almond Croissant | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Make a Twice Baked Lucky Charms Almond Croissant
makes one croissant


  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 grams egg, about 1 teaspoon
  • splash vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons crushed Lucky Charms cereal
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 good quality croissant
  • 1/4 cup Lucky Charms cereal (I went with the chocolate variety)
  • 1/4 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows

Heat the oven to to 350°F.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the crushed cereal, flour, and a pinch of salt.

Cut the croissant in half and spread on the cereal almond cream, saving 1 tablespoon for the top of the croissant. Sprinkle on the cereal and top with the other half of the croissant.

Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven. Microwave the remaining cereal almond cream for 10 seconds and brush on top of the croissant. Sprinkle on the marshmallows and bake for another five minutes. Let cool completely before enjoying.

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Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo tofu bites! If you love tofu and you love buffalo wings, this recipe is for you. Heck, if you just like tofu, this recipe is for you.

This is my favorite way of making crispy tofu in the oven: just toss in cornstarch and bake. The outsides get all crunchy and crisp and the insides stay creamy. After the oven the tofu is tossed in a easy 3 ingredient buffalo sauce that’s made from sriracha, butter, and honey. It’s seriously so good. Maybe even better than buffalo wings?! It’s a heck of a lot easier than making buffalo wings and easier to eat too.

The best part about this recipe is that almost all of it happens in the oven so you can just chill out on your phone and scroll through instagram, check out cute animal videos, or laugh at memes. When you get hungry, you’ve got a spicy, satisfying snack. Seriously so good. Don’t forget the celery and ranch sauce!

Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites | www.iamafoodblog.com

Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites | www.iamafoodblog.com

Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites | www.iamafoodblog.com

Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites | www.iamafoodblog.com

Crispy Oven Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites Recipe
serves 2


  • 1 package pressed or firm tofu*
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Dry off your tofu with a paper towel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with the cornstarch and arrange the tofu on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes – midway through, flip the tofu cubes.

When you have just 5 minutes left on the baking time (at that point your tofu should be a light golden brown) start the sauce. In a frying pan, heat up the sriracha, butter and honey over medium heat until combined and bubbly.

Remove the tofu from the oven and toss in the sauce. Enjoy hot!

* I buy pressed tofu at the store, but I know some places don’t sell it. You can substitute regular medium or firm tofu, just cut it and place it on clean paper towels to drain, flipping every so often until it removes most of the excess moisture.

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Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts · i am a food blog i am a food blog

I am deep into baking things without eggs. First, I was all about dividing eggs up for small batching, but now I’m all about small batch recipes that don’t even use eggs. The nice thing about egg free cake is that it’s vegan and also perfect for people who happen to be allergic to eggs, like my littlest nephew. Luckily for him, he just grew out of that allergy and he’s so happy about it! The first thing he wanted to eat was cake. He’s not really into eggs themselves, just cake.

But, for all those other people out there who are still allergic to eggs, or are vegan, these baked chocolate doughnuts are for you! They’re really quick to put together: just stir together the dry ingredients, make a well, pour the wet ingredients in the well, mix it up and bake. Essentially this recipe is this one, but in doughnut form. I went ahead and put some non-vegan cream cheese frosting on it because I’m living my best life but you can keep it vegan with a bit of simple coconut oil and powdered sugar glaze.

Oh, and sprinkles of course! I got these sprinkles at my favorite bulk store. It’s amazing there. Every holiday they have a selection of themed sprinkles. And they have the best snack foods. At first it was a little weird to see bins and bins of things like cheetos, chips, and pretzels, but then I realized the potential: SNACK PARTY! It’s awesome because it’s a bulk store so you can get as much or as little as you like and everything is really fresh because they have incredible turnover. Inevitably when we go, I pick out a tiny amount of every conceivable salty snack. Mike always just gets a big bag of sour candies. When we get home I put all my salty snacks onto different little plates and have a little snack smorgasbord party. SO GOOD.

Also so good are these doughnuts. It’s a good thing that they’re small batch because I just ate two in a row. Soon they’ll be gone and I won’t have to feel too guilty about it because there were only 5.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

PS – Are you a one flavor giant family size bag of chips person or a six different little bags of chips person?

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
makes 4-5 doughnuts


  • cooking spray
  • 6 tablespoons (45 g) flour
  • 1/4 cup (54 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (9 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar

adapted fromGuittard Chocolate Cookbook

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray or lightly oil.

Make the batter: Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Whisk until blended, some lumps are okay.

Spoon or pipe the batter into the doughnut wells, 3/4 of the way up. These don’t rise very much so if you keep them low your doughnuts might end up not as high as you want them to.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a couple of crumbs clinging. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Note: I frosted these with a bit of leftover cream cheese frosting that I had (which is decidedly not vegan) but they’ll taste good just plain or with a simple coconut oil and powdered sugar glaze.

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Vegan Baked Beans on Toast with Microgreens| Naturally.

Photograph of Vegan Baked Beans on Toast, topped with microgreens

For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve made it my mission to share the joy of beans on toast. I realize, it’s a bit of a funny mission. However, beans on toast is a magical thing and if you like beans, you should eat them on toast.

Growing up in the midwest, baked beans were a thing for nearly every family get-together. And yet, I never ate them. I avoided them, in fact. I’m not sure if it was the flavor, the texture, or just that I wasn’t a big fan of any bean. Luckily all of that has changed and now I have my favorite vegan baked bean recipe to share.

All the beans

When it comes to bean varieties, small navy beans are the traditional baked bean. I’ve also been known to use great northern. I’d also highly recommend checking out Rancho Gordo and using their Yellow Indian Woman Bean or their Alubia Blanca. I picked up a bag and the texture of these beans is perfect for a long-baked dish.

The sweetener

I usually stick with molasses, maple syrup, or honey but I have a weakness for dark muscovado sugar. This unrefined cane sugar has all of the molasses, making it a rich/moist sweetener. Paired with an extra bit of molasses, it makes these beans really shine. Of course, if you can’t find muscovado sweetener, use a bit more molasses or swap for brown sugar.

Keep it vegan

Traditional baked beans use bacon and while I could definitely swap in something more substantially meat-like, I don’t care. For me, the bacon brings the smoke and that’s why I can’t recommend enough picking up a bottle of smoked salt. Paired with the smoked paprika, you’re good-to-go, sans bacon.

Also, look for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Annie’s has a solid one and sometimes stores carry at least one other variety. This sauce is good to keep on hand for an extra boost of fermented goodness to many meals.

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Photograph of Vegan Baked Beans on Toast, topped with microgreens

Ingredients

1 medium yellow onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons tomato paste

4 tablespoon muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)

2 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon smoked salt

3 cups cooked navy beans in liquid (see note)


Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Peel and mince the onion. Heat a small dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the minced onions. Cook until the onions are tender. Add in the tomato paste and cook for another minute or so.
  • Next, measure in all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer the beans to the oven. Bake the beans for about 45 minutes, uncover, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce for the beans should be thickened.
  • Serve as is or eat my favorite way, on toast sprinkled with greens.

Notes

+ When I say ‘in liquid’, I typically fill a measuring cup near the top with beans then pour the liquid over until it reaches the top.

Keywords: vegan baked beans, baked beans

Overhead photo of a piece of toast topped with vegan baked beans and broccoli microgreens.

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Crispy Baked Cauliflower Tots | Spoon Fork Bacon



crispy_baked_cauliflower_tots

As someone who loves tater tots and will get them whenever they are on the menu (in LA this does not happen often enough) I don’t love the idea of using cauliflower to replace all the carbs I love. So I want you to think of this recipe not as a replacement for traditional tater tots, but as a new thing. It’s crispy like tater tots, but baked which is great. There is also some cheese in there which is pretty awesome as well. These would also go very well with some eggs in the morning for a delicious and fancy breakfast, and just in general for snacking (hello superbowl) and for sides. 🙂
♥ Teri


cauliflower_tots_recipe

Crispy Baked Cauliflower Tots

Makes 30

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 pound riced cauliflower
2/3 cup shredded white cheddar
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives, optional
1 large egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil.
2. Add garlic and shallot and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and place skillet back over stovetop.
4. Add remaining oil to skillet and top with riced cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Saute cauliflower until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow cauliflower to cool.
6. Transfer cooled cauliflower to a clean cheesecloth and squeeze out as much excess liquid possible.
7. Transfer cauliflower to bowl with garlic and shallot and stir together. Add remaining ingredients to mixing bowl and fold together until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
9. Using your hands form tablespoon sized discs (or “coins”) of cauliflower mixture and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, 1/2 – 1 inch apart.
10. Bake tots for 20 minutes then remove from oven and flip each one. Place tots back into the oven and continue to bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until tots have browned and crisped.
11. Lightly top tots with a sprinkle of salt and serve immediately.

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Coconut Baked Oatmeal | 101 Cookbooks

Baked oatmeal is one of my signature breakfast and brunch moves, for all the typical reasons. Make ahead, check. Adaptable, check. Many five year olds love it, and most forty year olds too. Check, check. There are versions of it in my last two books, and I’m constantly riffing on the general concept based on what is in season, and what I have on hand. This version is extra special – banana, coconut, vanilla, coconut milk, and some winter citrus, all baked into fragrant, golden-topped magic. 
Coconut Baked Oatmeal Recipe

The concept couldn’t be simpler. In fact, I suspect many of you have everything you need on hand right now. Butter your baking dish, layer of fruit, top with dry ingredients, finish with wet ingredients. Bake.

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Coconut Baked Oatmeal Recipe

The secret wink I included in this version is a final drizzle of warm coconut milk accented with a splash of rose water. That said, you can absolutely play around with different flavors and variations – think citrus zests, or extract, or drizzles of infused oils. All in all baked oatmeal is nearly impossible to mess up.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Gorgonzola and Baked Eggs

Close-up, overhead photo of roasted sweet potatoes with baked eggs nestled in among the sweet potatoes.

Some recipes are born from a love of making some of my recipes easier. I love to whip up a good quiche or frittata but sometimes I like to keep things simple (really simple). This baked egg dish is about as easy as it gets, once you get quick at dicing.

The Sweet Potatoes

Don’t throw this recipe out if you don’t like sweet potatoes. It’s really the concept of baked eggs that I would recommend. Any vegetable that goes well with baked eggs, and can be roasted, is a possibility here.

During the winter months, try different varieties of squash. During the spring, roasted asparagus is a nice touch (but I’d skip the first roasting step- no one likes mushy asparagus). And finally, in summer, roasted sweet corn and peppers rounds out the year. You could also mix two recipes and use something along the lines of this sunchoke hash.

Alliums

There are a few items that you can tell I love, just by the amount I use them in recipes. Shallots are at the top of the list. Sure, they are can be more of a pain to prep but the flavor gets me every time. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory, all with a small hint of garlic.

Of course, you can go with something a bit more forward. Try a bit of minced garlic added in with the sweet potatoes. During the spring months, green garlic can also add a nice flavor (and a bit of color contrast!) Or, go with the solid stand-by of minced yellow onion.

Vegan (a complete overhaul)

For almost every recipe I give, I can almost always turn it vegan. That is, however, a bit harder when baked eggs are the star of the show. I’d say if you’re bent on doing something similar, roast the sweet potatoes and turn it into a tofu scramble. Not the same but still delicious.

Spicy Baked Eggs

Finally, switch up the herbs. I’ve made this with a bit more savory elements and it’s delicious. Coat the sweet potatoes in a bit of curry powder, berbere spice, or a simple mix of cumin/coriander. It takes a bit of reworking the herbs but the end egg bake is delicious.

Overhead photo of roasted sweet potatoes and baked eggs, topped with rosemary and goat cheese.

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Close-up, overhead photo of roasted sweet potatoes with baked eggs nestled in among the sweet potatoes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Gorgonzola and Baked Eggs


Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato (about 1 pound)

¼ minced shallot

2 heaping teaspoons minced fresh thyme

2 heaping teaspoons fresh minced rosemary

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 large eggs

Goat cheese or feta, for topping (optional)

Crushed red pepper, for topping (optional)


Instructions

  • Heat your oven to 425˚F and have a 8×8 (or similar-sized) baking dish ready. Give the sweet potato a good scrub and cut it into 1/2″ cubes. Place in the pan along with the shallot, olive oil, herbs, and salt. Toss until well combined. Place in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are mostly tender, create two wells and crack in the eggs. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are to your desired doneness. 
  • Top with cheese and crushed red pepper if desired.

Keywords: egg bake, baked eggs

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup | Spoon Fork Bacon



loaded_baked_potato_soup

Hi guys! We’ve know we’ve been MIA since around the end of the holidays, but we both needed a lil break to revamp for the new year! We’re back though and kicking things off with this Loaded Baked Potato Soup! I love winter because I basically consider it soup season and I LOVE LOVE LOVE soup. Soups are just so darn comforting and I can eat them for every meal.

Today we’ve turned a classic dish of baked potato into our Loaded Baked Potato Soup! We know this isn’t anything new, but we love this hearty soup so much and wanted to add our version into the mix. One of my favorite things about this soup is going crazy on the toppings. Seriously. I love adding tons of cheese, chives, and bacon on top of mine, pretty typical…BUT I also love adding crispy fried shallots! It adds a great texture contrast to the rest of the dish and you can buy them pre-made in bags or jars at almost any asian grocery. This soup is so easy and extra satisfying! Enjoy! xx, Jenny


loaded_baked_potato_souo_recipe

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Makes about 2 quarts

Ingredients:
4 russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed clean
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 small diced shallot
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
garnishes:
shredded cheddar cheese
crispy cooked, crumbled bacon
sliced chives
crispy onions or shallots, optional

Directions:

1. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and place directly onto center oven rack, 2 inches apart.
2. Bake potatoes until fork tender, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
3. Remove potatoes from oven and cool until no longer steaming. Peel potatoes and dice.
4. Place a large pot over medium heat and melt butter. Add shallots and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add flour and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Stir in milk and stock until no lumps remain and continue to simmer until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in potatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.
7. Using an emersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Stir in sour cream and adjust seasonings. (If soup is too thick, stir in an extra 1/2 cup to cup of milk).
8. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a bunch of shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, sliced chives, and crispy shallots or onions, if using. Finish with more cracked black pepper and serve.

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