Hye Thyme Cafe: Spinach and Artichoke Potato Bites

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Potato Bites

Here's another app I threw together for our Pampered Chef party yesterday. The good thing is that if you're gearing up for a party or holiday, you can put these together the day before and just bake them off on the day of the event. That's one less thing you have to deal with on your big day.

I just happened to luck out and found these multi-colored baby potatoes, but you can use any small potatoes. Here they sell bags of "salt potatoes." That's a really weird concept to me...bags of potatoes that come packaged WITH salt?!? I guess the assumption is that most people have table salt at home and what comes with the potatoes is a coarser. When I first saw them, I thought it was a "type" of potato, but they're just small white potatoes. Anyhow, before I saw these, I was thinking the salt potatoes were a little too big and had almost settled on fingerlings. I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but it would have been doable in a pinch - I could have carved them out lengthwise and made "boats" instead. 

About 30 small potatoes
2t minced garlic
  (I used the jarred with hot peppers)
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1 can artichoke hearts, diced
1 med onion, diced
10 oz chopped spinach
1 T cream cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
grated Parmesan or Romano
2T chopped fresh parsley

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil with a little salt and pepper until the onions are translucent. Add in the artichokes and spinach until the spinach is cooked through - as you can see in the pic above, mine was still a little on the frosty side. Stir in the cream cheese and a little grated Parm or Romano. I had pulled out the Kraft shaker (pic above), but I actually ended up using fresh grated Romano IN the potatoes and sprinkled the Parm on top when they were on their way into the oven. Add the cayenne pepper and adjust your salt and pepper to taste. Set filling aside to cool.

Now back to your potatoes ...

Aren't they cute? I've seen them full sized before, but I've never seen baby purple potatoes. Go ahead and give them a little bath, and while they're air drying a bit, you can go figure out what you want to bake/serve them in. Make sure whatever you use is oven-safe at 450 degrees. Give it a shot of cooking spray or brush it with olive oil.

Scoop out the middles, making a thin shell. Leave enough on the bottom so you can remove a thin slice to level them - you don't want them tipping over. I used the small end of a melon baller, but  if you don't have one, whatever you're comfortable with is fine - maybe a grapefruit spoon or a strawberry huller.

 When all of your potatoes are lined up in your baking dish, give them a quick spray or drizzle of olive oil, then fill them with the spinach/artichoke mixture. If you will not be baking them now, this is where I would stop. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Just make sure to take them out early enough to come to room temp. You definitely don't want your baking dish exploding in the oven because it's cold when it goes in!

Sprinkle the tops with grated Parm or Romano and bake at 450 for 20-25" until tender. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley before serving hot or at room temp.

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