Thank. God. It’s. Friiiiiidaaaay!!!!!
The weekend is here, and that means happy hours. Notice the S behind hour? That’s because one hour just isn’t enough when the weather is gorgeous and you can sit outside and enjoy good food, good wine, and good friends.
This week my son, Griffin, asked me to make a vegan version of potato skins. EEK!! Potato skins and I have an atrocious history. Let’s just say that too many cocktails at my husband’s college fraternity party, greasy potato skins, and a water bed, are not a good combination. Enough said.
But, that horrific incident happened thirty years ago, so it’s time for me to give the skins some slack. The challenge was accepted, I would make a vegan potato skin that would put the typical bacon, beef, and cheese filled potato skins to shame.
The kind I remember didn’t contain a lot of the actual potato, they were filled with heart clogging cheese and meat. Clearly that kind of food doesn’t fly in my house, so I had to get creative. How would I fill these potato shells to make the non-vegans, whom I was going to share them with, realize that they had just crossed the threshold of DON’T EAT TOO MANY OR YOU WILL FEEL LIKE CRAP LATER unhealthy skins, into the land of, YES PLEASE, HAVE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE because damn these taste good and are good for you?
Since I didn’t want to use processed vegan cheese from a bag (not a fan), I thought I’d use the potato filling to make a cheesy sort of filling. Nutritional yeast has a cheddar cheesy flavor so that was an obvious choice. I mixed up a little vegan butter, yeast, and salt and pepper and ta-da it tasted amazing. Just a little schmear on top of the skin and the first layer was complete.
As much as I dislike processed food, these called for a little vegan sausage. It just felt right. So I diced some up and sprinkled a little on top of the potato cheese. Then I added some sautéed red onions and garlic. Five minutes before I took them out of the oven I added some of the chopped bulbs of the scallions on top of the red onions.
Once they had cooled a bit I topped them with fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, and the green part of the scallions. To give them a little crunchy bacon flavor I finished them with a dusting of my smoky cashews.
The result? Um, yeah they were fantastic, and they were consumed faster than I could say SAVE ONE FOR ME!!!!! I got a tiny bite of one from my son, which made me want more. But, no such luck; thanks to Alex, her boyfriend, and Griffin, they disappeared.
However, today is Friday, and I’m making them again. I’m taking them to my friend’s house for happy hour, but first, I’m eating one or two at home. This time, I will not be denied!
Have a wonderful weekend!