Potatoes, cream, sour cream, good white cheddar, salt and pepper. That's all he needs to make something that makes everyone moan with pleasure. They can taste his particular heart in these.
When I asked him to jot down a recipe for me, as we drove to the restaurant, so I could post it here today, he scrawled in the big black notebook I keep for food ideas, his sideways scrawl in rushed Chef chicken scratch. Rather than trying to translate for him, I'm going to write this one (nearly) as he did. (I'll spell out potatoes instead of pots.) He rarely works with recipes anyway, mostly with his hands and muscle memory.
If this doesn't make sense to you, ask. But he'd like to encourage you to not rely so much on tablespoons or precise measurements. Throw in a pinch of this, pour a little of that, grate a pile of that other thing, and see what happens.
With bacon involved, you can't go wrong.
Shauna James Ahern
5 slices bacon
10 red potatoes
1. Cook bacon down until crispy. Save the fat.
2. Toss potatoes with bacon fat and salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes at 425° for an hour or so until soft. Cool.
3. Halve potatoes. Scoop them out. Run insides through ricer, or sieve.
4. Add cream, sour cream, olive oil, white cheddar, salt and pepper.
5. Put back into the potatoes. Bake until golden brown. Top with bacon pieces.
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