Kilauea: Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Sweet Potato
I first saw this recipe on a YouTube cooking channel. Right there and then, I promised myself I will try to make it in my kitchen. The original recipe uses russet potatoes and an outside grill for cooking. As always, I try to experiment on a few tweaks. Because I prefer the more nutritious sweet potato over the regular potato, I made it the star of my version of this recipe. Also, on a cold and rainy day, using an outside grill was not an option, so I ended up using an indoor oven. The original recipe was called ‘volcano potatoes’ and you can clearly see why. The finished product looks like a tall volcano erupting with white lava over slopes of, what else, bacon! Need I say more?
I am naming my version the Kilauea — in honor of one of the most active volcanos in the Big Island of the Hawaiian Islands.
2 large sweet potatoes (pick the ones closest to the shape of russet potatoes)
8 slices of bacon
4 thin slices of smoked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch squares
1 cup, 3-blend shredded cheese (Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Cheddar)
1/2 cup, sour cream
1/2 tsp, Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp, liquid smoke
2 stems of green onions, chopped
Flavored grilling sauce (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.Wash the sweet potatoes in running water, using a vegetable brush to clean and smoothen them out. Pat dry with paper towels. Using a small sharp knife, poke a few holes in the middle of the potatoes. Wrap the potatoes in tin foil. Place them directly on top of the oven grill and bake for about 20 minutes. While the potatoes are baking, mix the Tabasco sauce and liquid smoke with the sour cream. Mix well and refrigerate. When done, take the potatoes out of the oven and allow to cool down. Remove foil. Chop off about 1/4 inch of the wider end of the potatoes so that they can stand flat on a cutting board or plate. Using a zig zag pattern, cut the opposite end of the potatoes. Using an apple core, hollow out the center of the potatoes, without getting too deep. Take four strips of bacon and wrap them around each potato, starting from the bottom, working your way up. Secure bacon strips with toothpicks. Fill the potatoes first with a pinch of turkey, then a pinch of cheese. Repeat the turkey and cheese layers until the potatoes are full. Top each potato with an extra layer of cheese (it will melt over as you heat up the potatoes in the oven). Place the stuffed potatoes on the oven grill and cook for about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a serving platter. If desired, brush the cooked potatoes with your favorite flavored grilling or barbecue sauce. Remove tooth picks. Top off with the sour cream, allowing it to flow over. Garnish top with green onions.