A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days in Idaho Falls, Idaho, courtesy of the Idaho Potato Commission.
That’s right…a trip all about potatoes. Russets, Golden, Purple. Big. Small. Fingerling. Mashed, chips, whole. Baked and fried and sweet and savory. Heck, we even had doughnuts made out of potatoes. It happened.
It was a freaking lot of potatoes. I can honestly say that after an estimated 39 different potato dishes in four days, I was pretty much carb-ed out.
But what a way to go.
It was a wonderful trip, and full of amazing folks. The potato farmers were genuine and so open…we toured their farms, saw their storage barns (the one below has 5 million pounds of potatoes in it, and they CAN stay there for nearly a year if need be!), ate at their property, met their kids. Heck we even dug up potatoes one morning!
One cool thing I learned was that during the week of potato harvest every year (yes, there is a special potato harvest week) the schools CLOSE. Yep, they close so that the kids can help their families or work for other farms and make a really good wage. We met a few of these teenagers – driving the potato trucks or unloading onto conveyor belts. So humble and sweet – I loved it!
We were also able to spend time at Potandon, (you may have heard of Green Giant? Yeah, this is part of that) where we tasted a million different potato dishes, raw potatoes, potato pizza, potato this, potato that…
Our cabin was huge – I stayed in a 5 bedroom behemoth with my girlfriends that was so enormous that we were actually the location for the group lunch that day. And look who cooked for us? Yep, that’s James Beard’s own Chef Rick Sordahl.
I know, right?
As if they weren’t treating us well enough, we spent our sunset riding horses through the mountains, taking in views like you can’t even imagine. That? Well, that was followed up with a farewell dinner and campfire that will go down as one of my favorite experiences ever.
So, thank you, Idaho Potatoes, for the amazing adventure and information. It was unforgettable.
Now, let’s talk Kentucky Hot Browns. Well, to be more specific, Hot Brown Waffles.
Now, this was full on, 100% my idea. Hot Brown Waffles. But, giving credit where it is due, my friend Mike, the chef, was a huge helper on these when it came time to make them. He made the batter, I made them happen. I was the waffler. Together we made them come to fruition.
And then we ate them.
Imagine mashed potatoes, but in a crispier form, toasty from the waffle iron. But not just potatoes, no. Idaho® Potatoes. Then? Add cheddar cheese. Add onion. Add BACON.
Now you see why you must make these.
It gets better though.
The Kentucky Hot Brown, in case you aren’t familiar with this to-die-for open faced sandwich, is typically bread, topped with mashed potatoes, cheesy gravy, turkey, bacon, and tomatoes.
We’ve delivered that here as well. Just…better.
The waffles, once fully baked, are topped with cut up turkey breast, crumbled bacon pieces, tomato slices, and of course, that decadent cheese sauce that would be a meal on a shoe if you could bite through the leather.
There’s really nothing like it.
So, be sure to save some of that Thanksgiving turkey this year, as you’ll be wanting it for these Hot Brown Waffles. Imagine a morning of Black Friday shopping, wheeling home that brand new 97 inch flat panel TV and Tickle Me Justin Beiber Furby you scored for $29, and whipping up a plate full of these bad boys.
I hope you’ll have time for a nap after. You deserve it.
Kentucky Hot Brown Idaho® Potato Waffles
- 2-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 white onion, fine dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 1/2 cups mashed Idaho® Potatoes
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cooked bacon
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- pinch salt/pepper, or to taste
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds cooked turkey, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped sliced bacon
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Cheese Sauce (see notes)
- Sauté onion and garlic in butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat, until onion is translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Combine cooled onions and garlic with mashed potatoes, flour, eggs, bacon, cheese and seasonings in a large bowl until well uniform.
- Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturers instructions. When heated, prepare waffles as usual. For a large waffle iron, this recipe makes 2 large waffles, and the cook time was approximately 10 minutes per waffle. Waffles are done when dark golden brown and crispy on the outside but soft inside.
- Top waffles with turkey, bacon, tomatoes and cheese sauce. Toast under broiler, if desired.
To prepare the mashed potatoes, simply peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, then cook in boiling salted water until tender. Mash with a hand mixer or potato masher.
To prepare the cheese sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups milk, stirring until well mixed. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Cook for 5 minutes longer; add 1 cup of cheddar cheese slowly, little bits at a time. Stir until smooth and well blended.
For more information on Idaho® Potatoes, check them out here!
Disclaimer: I am happy to be sponsored by Idaho® Potatoes and sharing this post with you. All thoughts and opinions are my own.