Blue Cheese Apple Mashed Potatoes with Praline Bacon

Blue Cheese Apple Mashed Potatoes with Praline Bacon (3)

By Wen

In lieu of the fact that Thanksgiving is around the corner, this recipe is created to wow all of your dinner guests. Blue cheese itself has a sharp, salty and intense flavor.
Usually aged for at least 60 days, blue cheese has a bold and fully expressive flavor. The blue cheese is paired with the mellow mashed potatoes to act as a binding agent.

To bring out the flavor of the blue cheese even more though, swirl in mashed apples as a final touch. This gives the flavor more body and adds a sweet hint to the recipe. To top off the recipe, pair it with praline bacon strips. The crunchy, peppery, sugar-crusted bacon contrasts the creamy saltiness of the blue cheese. You can choose to mix the bacon into the mashed potato or place it to be nibbled on as a side dish.

Serve with: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chocolate Stout or Port

Ingredients:
4 pounds Potatoes (Any kind is okay), Peeled and Quartered
1 (8oz) Package Cream Cheese
2-3 Apples any kind (Golden Delicious, Fiji, Red Delicious)
1 Cup Blue Cheese
2/3 Cup Milk (2%, or Whole milk preferred)
5 Tablespoons Honey
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Chives
2 Tablespoons Rosemary
2 Tablespoons Thyme
2 Tablespoons Oregano
3 Tablespoons Nutmeg

Praline bacon:
10 Strips of Bacon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almond meal or ground nuts
2 tsp dry or wet mustard
1 tsp salt
3 teaspoons Honey

About 20 min prep time and about 1 hour cook time (including mashing)

Instructions for Praline Bacon:

1) Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit
2) Combine all the ingredients except for the bacon into a wide, shallow dish. Dip and press each slice of bacon into the sugar mixture on both sides.
3) Lay bacon strips onto a large, rimmed baking sheet.
4) Sprinkle additional sugar onto the bacon and lightly drizzle with honey.
5) Roast bacon until the fat begins to bubble or render. This should take approximately 6 minutes.
6) Rotate the pan front to back and continue roasting until the bacon is crispy (about 8-10 minutes.)
7) Remove bacon and cool.
8) Collect all the extra bacon drippings for later (We will use it in the mashed potatoes).
9) Break into pieces and add into mashed potatoes or serve as a side.

Instructions for the Mashed Potatoes:
1) Peel the potatoes and apples (unless you have a ricer to mash them).
2) Using your DoveWare Dutch oven, bring your pot of salted water with your 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a boil.
3) Cut the potatoes in half and place them into the water.
4) Cut the apples into quarter pieces and place them into the water as well.
5) Cover and Boil the potatoes and apples for approximately 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and feel ready to be mashed when pierced with a fork.
6) Drain the Potatoes/Apples and place them into a large bowl.
7) Mash with a potato masher, ricer, beater or whatever you would like.
8) Add the cream cheese, bacon drippings and milk. Mash together.
9) Add the chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano and nutmeg.
10) Add the Blue Cheese.
11) Add the Honey. Season well with salt and pepper. (If you feel as though the blue cheese is too over powering, add more honey to taste.)
12) At this point in time, you may choose to either eat the mashed potatoes as is, or add in broken up pieces of bacon.
13) Pour your Mashed Potato mixture into your Doveware Casserole Dish or reuse your Dutch Oven.
14) Add additional blue cheese over the top of the Mashed Potatoes. This will help give your mashed potatoes a bubbly crust that is to die for.
15) Place your Doveware into the oven and bake at 350 degrees or until brown and bubbly.
16) Serve warm and with some pieces of Praline bacon and wine!

Blue Cheese Apple Mashed Potatoes with Praline Bacon (4)

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