It's here! It's here! It's here! Finally! After months and months (and months) and rain and rain (and rain), summer is upon us in full swing here on the west coast and things couldn't be better. At least as it relates to the weather. And food. And buying your food in this awesomeness of weather. I love the start of summer farmers markets and everything they bring with them. Not just the fresh veggies, juicy stone fruits and kitschy crafts and knick knacks. But also for how they transform our Saturdays. In the winter, too often grocery shopping involves bundling up, grabbing a quarter AND a loonie (cause I can never remember which store buggy takes what) and schlepping off to a local big market store to browse citrus from Florida.
NOW it's shorts & flip flops & a stroller to stuff precious finds in.
NOW it's browsing tables snacking on fresh kettle corn, admiring zucchini blossoms, garlic scapes & tayberries.
NOW it's stopping to listen to a local busker strum a few tunes & try convince your Little to go up alone and drop a few $$ in the guitar case.
NOW grocery shopping is FUN!
One of my favourite seasonal & local veggies is the warba nugget potato. A potato? Yes, the the potato. Really. The potato? Yes. And here is why.
Last year I entered the annual BC Fresh Warba-licious New Nugget Potato Recipe Challenge and to my surprise (my competitive alter-ego would say otherwise) I won. So this year I needed to step up my game in hopes of a repeat performance. And after several serious brainstorming workshops (translation: Mr. Me. Bottle of Wine. 76 Potato Nuggets on the kitchen counter.) we came up with a delicious dish.
I think that when utilizing the potato, most people think first about how to TREAT the potato, (how to cut it. how to cook it. how to season it) and THEN how to serve it. I ended up reversing these thoughts. I did so when during the aforementioned brainstorming session my Little "officially 2.5" year old looked at all the potatoes on the counter and said....
"awwww, they're so cute. Little potato babies. Where is the mommy potato?"
It was then I knew I couldn't possibly smash or cut the warba too much. They really were just too cute. It's such a treat to have these little nuggets and they were literally the perfect bite. And with that in mind, the stuffed chorizo & kale warba cup was born.
On the warba's that wouldn't sit flat I shaved a little off the bottom so they would't roll off the plate. Then I cut a little off the top (as does Mr's barber) and used a melon ball-er to scoop out the flesh. I took all of these extra potato trimmings, gave them a fine chop and sautéed them with some local veggies including onions, garlic & kale. (go antioxidants!) Next came some smoky bacon and rich chorizo (basically the epicentre of all things wonderful) and the resulting hash was spooned back into the potato cups and off to the oven.
The result? A perfect cocktail party (or in my house pj's & game night) snack. No utensils required. A neatly contained appetizer, great visual appeal but humble and accessible...
...just as the warba would want to be portrayed.
Chorizo & Kale Stuffed Warba Cups 12 Warba Potato Nuggets (all about the same size) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 Chorizo Sausages 4 slices of bacon 1/2 white onion, diced fine 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 cups loosely packed kale, finely chopped 1 scallion (garnish, chopped) Sour cream (optional, for dipping)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Lightly wash potatoes. Do not peel or scrub too much. 3. To ensure all of the potatoes stand up, trim a small amount off the bottom (a thin thin sliver). Then take a small amount off the top creating a surface large enough for a small knife/spoon/melon baller to get in to remove the potato flesh. 4. Scoop out the flesh from the inside (I used a melon baller and paring knife) and set aside. Go as deep as you want to have room for filling. I took some right to the skins and they held up excellent. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet and rub the outsides with olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and set aside. 5. In a medium frying pan, heat the butter. Add finely chopped chorizo sausages, bacon, onion and garlic. Roughly chop all the leftover potato and add to pan. Cook over medium heat until chorizo is cooked fully and onions are translucent. 6. Add the chopped kale and stir to combine over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until kale is wilted. 7. Using a teaspoon, scoop the hash into the potato cups as full as you can. 8. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet, into the oven and cook 20 minutes until potato "cups" are done. 9. Remove from oven. Garnish with chopped scallion and serve with sour cream for dipping.