I’d like to warn you about this recipe. It’s really addicting and you should probably triple it if you plan to serve it at a party. The itty bitty potatoes are perfect for popping in your mouth and the taste is “Could you please make this every game day party?” good. I nearly ate all the Whole30 compliant bites (i.e. – the ones without cheese) before the Godfather got home, and he was home less than an hour after the photo shoot.
Whole30 or not, these bites will be a new standard on my party food menu for two reasons. One, they’re easy to make. It does take a little time to scoop and stuff, but you can totally do that a day in advance and then reheat just before the party. The second, and primary reason, is that they are VERY budget friendly when feeding a crowd.
I used only half a pound of ground beef and I had extra filling. By using small yellow potatoes, which are much cheaper than fingerling potatoes and still the perfect small size, I can make several dozen of these bites for under $10 easily even using good quality ground beef. I actually picked up most of the ingredients for today’s recipe at a local upscale butcher shop/grocery/cafe in Ashburn, VA called The Wine’ing Butcher. Shop local, darlings!
I wanted to recommend one topping over another (cheese vs. aioli), but since I can’t sample both at this time, I deferred judgement to the Godfather, and he couldn’t choose. The cheese is well, cheese, and who doesn’t love cheese on a potato? And the aioli he thought was refreshing with the added cilantro, making the bites like something you’d have at a nicer sports bar with the plush leather chairs and micro-brewed beer on tap. Personally, I liked how they looked together on my serving board, so I’m going to recommend both as both will be served at our house this Super Bowl Sunday… and the next one… and the one after that…
- 12 golden new potatoes, or fingerling potatoes
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp ghee or melted butter
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- coarse salt for sprinkling (like a coarse kosher salt or pink Himalayan)
- shredded cheese (optional for topping - not Whole30)
- 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 c fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400 F and bake the potatoes for 30 minutes until cooked through. You should be able to easily pierce them with a fork. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.
- While the potatoes are cooking, place the meat in a large skillet and cook over medium heat.
- After about 3-4 minutes, add the onions, salt, pepper, and cumin, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to break up any clumps in the beef. Remove from the heat once cooked through.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each in half and scoop out the middle using a small spoon. Place the scooped potato in a mixing bowl and line the skins on your baking sheet. Brush the skins with olive oil and sprinkle with your coarse salt
- Add the ghee to your mixing bowl and mash the scooped potato, then add the beef mixture and your chopped jalapeno.*
- Spoon the filling mixture into your potato skin shells. At this time you can cover the pan and refrigerate the potatoes up to one day until you are ready to bake.
- If you are using cheese, sprinkle the potatoes with cheese before you bake the second time. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Top with fresh cilantro and serve warm.
- If you are using cilantro aioli as a topper, you may make the aioli up to 5 days in advance and store in the refrigerator, then just place aioli in a zip top plastic bag and snip off a corner or in a piping bag and snip then end. Drizzle over the potato bites just before serving and top with fresh chopped cilantro.
To make the cilantro aioli:
- Place all ingredients for the aioli except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse 5-6 times until the cilantro is chopped and the ingredients are somewhat blended.
- Start running the food processor and, while it is running, slowly drizzle in the 1/2 cup of olive oil. Continue running the food processor until the aioli has reached a thick consistency and you see it "stick" to the sides of your processor.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*This recipe is not spicy at all. Potatoes absorb heat/spice, so the jalapeno will add flavor, but will hardly even achieve a mild level of heat. I used a fairly spicy pepper, and would use two in the future if I want to achieve a mild/medium heat level.