It’s Ramadan and I’ve been beating the long days and boredom (especially on the weekends) by cooking. The first weekend, I may or may not have gone on a complete cooking spree and I just haven’t been able to stop myself since then. If you’re interested in seeing what I’m up to, follow along on my Instagram story. I’m always sharing photos and videos of my goodies. Currently, I’m waiting my Pink Pickled Turnips to set. Only about a week and a half or so left before they’re ready to be devoured.
I made Middle Eastern Stuffed Potatoes not once, but twice over the last week. The first time for a weeknight iftar at a friend’s, and the second to actually take photos (and feed my family). Here’s the deal with coring vegetables in general; first, you have to use a thin corer. Generally, you can find them at the Arabic store. Also, unless you’re a professional vegetable corer, it’s almost impossible to figure out if you’ve dug your holes too deep (that is, unless you poke through the other end of the vegetable). It’s part practice, part luck. After coring two bags of potatoes, I can proudly call myself a self-proclaimed professional potato corer.
I can offer some advice when it comes to making stuffed potatoes:
- The smaller potatoes are, surprisingly, easier to core than the large ones. I found that with the smaller ones, you have a better sense for how much to hollow out before hitting any of the sides. With the larger potatoes, it’s a little harder to figure out.
- When you fry the potatoes, make sure the oil is hot before you put the potatoes in. This way, it’ll only take a couple minutes on each side to get slightly browned.
- Cover the potatoes when they bake in the oven. This way, they don’t dry out.
- 1 lb gound beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Seven Spice
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons Pine Nuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bag Yukon Gold or Butter Potatoes (about 12-15 potatoes)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 cups tomato sauce + 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Seven Spice
- 1 cube Maggi
- In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sauté the onions until translucent
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned
- Season with seven spice, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg
- Remove from heat
- Heat one tablespoon oil and cook the pine nuts until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them! Pine nuts fry quickly. Remove from oil onto a blotter.
- Peel and wash the potatoes
- Using a thin vegetable corer, carve out the middle portion of the potatoes making sure not to puncture the potatoes
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
- Once hot, place the potatoes in the oil and fry on all sides until a light golden brown
- Remove and place on paper towels to absorb additional oil
- Once the potatoes have cooled, stuff the potatoes with the ground beef mixture leaving 1/8 inch space from the top
- Place in a single layer in a baking tray
- Use 1 tablespoon olive oil to saute garlic
- Add tomato sauce and water
- Bring to a boil, add in seven spice and Maggi, then turn heat off
- Pour the tomato sauce over the potatoes
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes on 375 F