This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena#CollectiveBias
I have never lived anywhere with so many die-hard sports fans as Chicago. You can’t leave the house without seeing jerseys, rooting fans, or TVs televising live event, and for good reason. There’s not much that compares to cheering on your favorite team and watching them kick butt – except for when the don’t. The all-time best part of football season, however, has to be the food. Even if you’re not a sports fan you still have to eat, and football seasons means lots and lots of food, especially at my place!
When you host friends and family in your home during sporting events it’s kind of expected that you feed them. Thankfully I love doing just that and even more I love when it’s something super easy.
Take these twice baked loaded baked potatoes. They are delicious and so simple to make that anyone can do it. If you have older kids or friends willing to help you can delegate most/all of the work to them. Scooping the potato away from the skin is my least favorite part so I happily hand that part of the process over to whoever is available and willing. I prefer to cook the potatoes in advance so I spend less time in the kitchen on game day.
I’m not ashamed of cutting corners, especially if I can use premium ingredients to do that. La Morena Sliced Green Jalapeno Peppers make it easy to add just the right amount of heat. Whenever I am in the city I stop in to Tony’s Finer Foods because they have an amazing Hispanic section. They always have La Morena products in stock and the prices are amazing.
So, let’s get on with it! Here’s how you can recreate my all-time favorite game day dish!
Start with 4-6 (dry)baking potatoes that have been scrubbed clean. Rub the potatoes lightly with olive or canola oil. Preheat the oven to 400F and bake the potatoes on a cookie sheet for an hour.
Cut the potatoes in half (lengthwise) and let them cool until you can comfortably handle them. Scoop the potato part out carefully, making sure to leave the skin/shell intact. The easiest way to do this is to leave a 1/4 inch layer of potato connected to the skin. Put the potato flesh into a large bowl or stand mixer.
Add 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons of milk, 1/4 cup of sour cream, 4 slices of cooked & crumbled bacon (feel free to use the jarred stuff for some extra time saving), 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 3 tablespoons of diced jalapeno peppers, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Blend the mixture well and scoop by the tablespoon into the set aside potato skins.
You can top with a slice of cheese at this step if you’d like!
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes and serve ’em up hot to your guests.
The ingredients are flexible so feel free to add, omit, and change to fit your guests taste buds.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias
Growing up in a split multi-cultural family can be confusing. You grow up and have to decide on your own whether to continue one sides traditions and spite the other or to create new traditions. Eventually I got to the age where I could decide where and how I wanted to spend holidays. I tried to be fair and spend a little time with everyone – taking in the traditions that were passed down from generation to generation. Once I grew up and had a family of my own it was my turn to decide which traditions were kept and which were forgotten. To help make the decisions I took time to remember the passion behind the holidays.
The excitement and the devotion from the Latino side of my family was always intense – whether it was Christmas or Cinco de Mayo. Every holiday was a reason to celebrate. Except one. There was one holiday observance that didn’t have a huge party or loud music. There was that one holiday that my Wela showed more devotion and passion for, above the others, and it was Easter. She threw her annual fiesta de Carnaval and we danced and ate and laughed. But when Miercoles de Ceniza came I saw my family at their most humblest as the ash cross was marked on forehead after forehead.
For my Wela, Lent was always about more than just giving up meat for 40 days. She challenged all of us to let go of the things that bound us. Every year she would ask me, “Mija, what has the most hold over you; what do you crave the most?” Each year she challenged me to let go of those things for 40 days. I can’t tell ya how many times I cried because I chose to give up chocolate, haha.
This year I remember Wela and have been missing her more and more. With the stress and emotional overload I’ve had through the past year I grabbed on to her memory and her tradition of Lent to pull me through. I remember her words and her challenges and how something as trivial as giving up chocolate for 40 days made me more humble. More appreciative. Only this year it isn’t chocolate. This year it is men, well one man in particular – the thing that has the most hold over me. The thing I crave the most; which just so happens to be the thing that is causing the most stress! I think Wela would be proud and I continue to pull strength from her memory.
To keep her close to me this year I have made some of her classic comfort foods. I can’t get them quite spot on, but they are usually close seconds. My favorite and the closest to Wela’s recipe is the Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread I’ve been munching on for days now. This is seriously comfort food at its best and it’s so easy to whip up. I try to always have the ingredients on hand and you can find them at your local Latin market or food store. She’d glare at me for telling you this, but Wela always kept canned peppers in her pantry. That was her way of making sure they were always on hand for last-minute guests and midnight cravings. La Morena is the first brand I reach for!
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron fry pan.
Combine the drained corn, dry ingredients, jalapenos, and cheese in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
Blend together the egg, buttermilk, and butter in another bowl. Pour the mixture into the well in the other bowl with the corn mixture. Fold gentily until everything is blended and lump-free.
Pour the mixture into the prepared skillet and set the timer for 20 minutes.Once the timer goes off insert a toothpick in the center of the cornbread to check for doneness. Continue baking at 5 minute intervals until the toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cornbread sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.