I love cooking and baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but quick, easy and delicious are prerequisites of the season when it comes to selecting or developing new recipes. The holidays are overflowing with opportunities to celebrate with family and friends and almost every gathering will involve enjoying meals and wonderful dishes with those we love most. I love keeping our kitchen stocked with delicious homemade treats to share with company and to take along with us when we’re invited to celebrate somewhere else. I’m always looking for ways to share something five-star wonderful, without having to spend all my time in the kitchen, away from the guests I want to be able to celebrate with. Thanks to a little help from Ore Ida Frozen Hashbrowns, this wonderful appetizer recipe came together like a dream and is a perfect way to accomplish that goal! And who knew? Hashbrowns aren’t JUST for breakfast any more!
As I was mulling over the idea for this tasty appetizer recipe, I knew I wanted a crispy “nest” or cup for the creamy jalapeno popper centers. Shredded hashbrowns seemed like a natural choice. I made a quick run to our local Walmart to pick up a bag and I had several brands to choose from, but the familiar red, brown and yellow of the Ore Ida brand hashbrowns caught my eye immediately. Then, I noticed the snowman and “Frozen” promotion on Ore Ida bags. Because it’s a brand I’m familiar with, and trust after using it so often, I chose the Ore Ida shredded hashbrowns and looked forward to finding out more about the movie and that giveaway while my appetizers baked.
Ore Ida and Disney have teamed up to give us all an opportunity to win some great prizes and celebrate the premiere of Disney’s new animated film, “Frozen”, which will open around the country on November 27. The “Frozen” Giveaway has some great prizes — First Place: a $500 Awards2Go Visa Award Card (250 winners) , Second Place: a One Year Supply of Ore Ida products (1000 winners), and Third Place: 2 free Fandango tickets to see “Frozen” (5000 winners), so you’ll definitely want to check that out. You will also be able to get some great ideas for using hashbrowns at in-store demos at participating Walmart locations on November 30th and December 1st or by joining in the fun at the Twitter Party on 11/27 at 11am EST.
Once I was back at home, it didn’t take long to come up with Jalapeno Hashbrown Poppers, using the Ore Ida Shredded Hashbrowns and a handful of simple ingredients that I always have on hand. I think you’ll love the simplicity of this recipe. I have a feeling that you will be asked for it, over and over, again. Enjoy!
- 6 cups Ore Ida Shredded Hashbrowns, thawed
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 green onion, minced
- ½ cup bacon pieces, fried, drained and minced fine
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Mix the thawed hashbrowns and melted butter, being sure the potatoes are evenly coated.
- Press 1½ to 2 Tablespoons of the hashbrown mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the cups of a mini-muffin tin. (The mixture should make about 30 "cups".)
- Bake the cups in a 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Top edges will be brown and crispy.
- Remove them from the oven and turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
- While the hashbrown cups are baking, mix up the jalapeno popper filling.
- Place the softened cream cheese, sour cream, jalapeno, onion bacon and cheddar in a medium mixing bowl. (The jalapeno I used was extremely large, so I only used half. I also used all the veins and seeds, since we like things spicy. Adjust the "heat" in your appetizers by adjusting the amount of jalapeno you use and how many of the seeds and veins you mince into your ingredients. Please use caution and wear gloves when working with hot peppers to prevent contact with your skin. Wash your hands thoroughly when you're finished chopping them.)
- Stir vigorously to be sure all ingredients are evenly combined.
- I used my cookie scoop, leveled off, to add filling to the pre-baked hashbrown cups. One, to one-and-a-half Tablespoons is about the right amount. Fill the shells all the way to the top or just slightly over the top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the muffin tin, on a wire rack, for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove the poppers.
- I used a butter knife to slide around the edges of each cup to be sure it was loosened from the pan. Then I lfted them out, onto a plate that I had covered with a paper towel. The towel absorbed any excess butter.
- Serve while still warm.
- To serve, arrange the poppers on a tray and garnish each with a tiny swirl of sour cream and a fresh parsley leaf.
What’s your best tip for being able to serve dishes with five-star taste, without being tied to your kitchen, over the holidays? I’d love you to leave a comment and share your ideas with me and all the Busy-at-Home readers. I appreciate how willing you always are to be involved and to help one another make the most of our time and resources! Hope your week is blessing-filled!