POQUITO POTATOES WITH CAVIAR
You really should allow three to four per person – unless your guests have very hearty appetites, in which case allow up to six. First popularized in northern California, these elegant appetizers prove that the whole is often more than the sum of its parts.
Yield: 6 servings
18 to 24 new potatoes, 1 1/2” to 2” in diameter
4 tablespoons sweet (unsalted) butter
¾ teaspoon salt, optional
Several grinds of black pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 ounces caviar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash the potatoes and blot dry; butter the skins, using no more than 2 tablespoons. Place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake 30 minutes, then squeeze gently, using a potholder to protect your hands. If they are done, the potatoes will yield to pressure and the skins will be somewhat crisp.
- When done, allow the potatoes to cool slightly, then slice in half. Using a sharp knife, cut about ¼ inch in from the skin and scoop out contents of each potato. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the salt (if using), pepper, and a scoop of the sour cream and beat until the potatoes are fluffy.
- If serving immediately, return the skins to the hot oven and bake about 20 minutes more to really crisp the skins. If preparing the potatoes earlier in the day or even a day or two before, refrigerate; then wait to crisp the skins in a 350 degree oven just before you are ready to serve.
- For refrigerated potatoes and stuffing, heat the skins as above and reheat the mashed potatoes separately. If using a microwave, cover and heat for a minute, then rotate a quarter turn, continuing until hot. If using a double boiler, place in covered top pan over the boiling water and heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until hot.
- To serve, spoon the potato filling back into the shells, dividing it evenly among them. Then top each with the remaining sour cream and garnish with caviar.
From Jane Butel’s Fiestas for Four Seasons, p. 130