I know I've been on a kale kick recently, but I decided to switch it up for Valentine's Day this year and make some naughtier culinary options for my man. He was making me happy by eating the kale, so in exchange, I made him one of my favorite side dishes and added some tasty extras: Bacon and Caesar Mashed Potatoes. The only problem is, both he and I fell in love with these mashed potatoes, so much so in fact, that I have to walk away for a moment and re-heat some to eat…
…ok, I'm back. Yup that's a common problem. When I start writing about the food I've made and really like, it makes me insanely hungry. So, this is a warning, these Caesar Bacon Mashed Potatoes are addicting. For those of you who love bacon, this is a no-brainer recipe and for those of you that love the idea of bacon but not the extra fat content, I've made some modifications to lesson the guilt factor in these papas. Oh, and I found a great short cut for the bacon. Bacon can be a timely an oh-so-greasy experience, however I my boyfriend discovered a new bacon product at Trader Joe's that cut down my bacon cooking time to under one minute. Sounds awesome, right?
Trader Joe's Fully Cooked Uncured Bacon is awesome because the bacon comes pre-smoked and cooked with 15 slices inside and all you have to do is microwave the slices to your desired crispiness. And call me crazy, because this is probably sacrilegious to bacon lovers, but you know that extra fatty strip on the bacon? I just sort of slice that part off and toss it. It's like blotting my super greasy pizza with a paper towel. Girl's gotta watch the waist, get me? I also use light products in this dish like light sour cream, butter and ranch dressing but you are more than welcome to go full-blown naughty and skip the lighter options.
The creamy ranch dressing and sour cream addition give an extra layer of flavor to these mashed potatoes. I used Ken's Creamy Lite Caesar dressing, which was awesome, but I definitely recommend using a creamy Caesar dressing and not an oil based one. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my Bacon and Caesar Mashed Potatoes; they will make a perfect match for my marinated Rib Eye recipe, F.Y.I. (coming soon)!
1. Peel potatoes and rinse. Slice potatoes lengthwise and then again with the 2 halves. Cut each one of the quartered potato slices evenly, in 6 pieces (each potato will yield 12 pieces). Place potatoes in boiling water and boil until knife tender (poke them with a knife and they should easily fall off). Remove from heat and drain the potatoes in a colander.2. For extra creamy potatoes, I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but a hand mixer will work just as well. Place potatoes in your stand mixer bowl and add the chicken broth, milk, sour cream, Caesar dressing and butter. Mash for a few minutes on medium-low speed until almost smooth (if you need more moisture, add a little more milk).
3. For the last minute of mixing, add chopped bacon and seasoning salt. Mix potatoes again until all of the ingredients are well mixed. Taste. Love the flavors? If you want more Caesar flavor, go ahead and add another teaspoon! Serve immediately and warm up right before serving if necessary. Enjoy!