Jalapeño Popper Hasselback Sweet Potatoes are smoky, savory delicious treats, whether served as an entree or side side, and whether served in the cool of your kitchen or outside around a campfire. A copy of The Camp and Cabin Cookbook was given to me for the purposes of an honest review. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing.
I am so sorry for the super extended quiet. You guys are probably used to The Spiced Life going at least somewhat quiet in June/early July because that is when my family goes to the beach. So yes that happened. But everything has been extra frustrating because of the tile going up in the kitchen (at last! Now we are just waiting on the paint), I have had this insane cough from allergies, and then while I was at the beach I caught some cough virus which just sent things over the top. It has taken me a bit (and a lot of Prednisone) to get in the swing of things. But that’s enough about that, how about a before/after picture with the tile (I’ll save the immaculate kitchen photos for when we finally are completely done since I don’t think it will be immaculate until then!):
So I am sorrier that I can say that I have taken a while on sharing these Jalapeño Popper Hasselback Sweet Potatoes -and The Camp & Cabin Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Prepare Wherever You Go, the cookbook they came from- with you. After all, you campers and hikers are all out camping and hiking right now, so you need this cookbook. But, full disclosure? When Laura (Bashar, the author of the cookbook and a friend of mine) asked if I would like to review the book the first thing I said was I hated camping and cooking outside (totally true). She laughed and promised me that everything could be made in your kitchen too.
I am super happy I took her up on her review offer, because I have bookmarked loads of recipes to try, albeit in my kitchen. My brother–an avid outdoor cooker–offered to take the book off my hands when I was done reviewing it, but he’s not getting it! Some examples? Campfire Crêpes with Fresh Fruit and Lemon Mascarpone Cream; Spinach Feta Quiche Baked in Portobello Shells; Grilled Pears with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese; Beer Braised Pot Roast with Corn, Green Beans and Potatoes; Hatch Chile Verde with Chicken; Tequila Lime Chicken with Saffron and Lemon; Chorizo Meat Loaf; Grilled Plum Quinoa Pilaf with Mint, Lime and Feta; Lemon Blueberry Clafoutis; Roasted Strawberry Lemonade. My favorite though is the corn on the cob bar with toppings from around the world–I adore street corn, as you may remember from my Middle Eastern Style Street Corn, so I seriously need to implement those ideas STAT.
As soon as I saw these Jalapeño Popper Hasselback Sweet Potatoes I knew I was making them–even though side dishes aren’t usually my focus. To say Sammy and I in particular have a bit of an obsession with jalapeño poppers would be an understatement. We adore them. Now I have never understood serving them with Ranch dressing and other nonsense like that. I just want pure, creamy full fat sour cream with mine. In other words I don’t indulge too often.
While I would not call these Jalapeño Popper Hasselback Sweet Potatoes health food exactly, they are a darn sight healthier than regular poppers, not being breaded and fried, and sweet potatoes being much better for you than regular potatoes. I would go so far as to say that if you are like me and like to stick to one main dish plus maybe a salad, these make an ok entree. So that is what we did. (We will just pretend I added a leafy green salad.)
Guys these are delicious. The sweet of the sweet potatoes is perfectly counter balanced by all of that salty, cheesy savoriness. If you like potato skins, you will also adore these. While I still do not plan to join the hordes of campers and grillers any day soon, if I did I would definitely add these to the menu!
As stated, I made these in the oven, but I am including both sets of directions. I made 5 of these and served each as a main course (I had one leftover). 2 sweet potatoes would be adequate for 4 side dishes however, so I wrote the recipe for 2. This recipe is closely adapted with Laura Bashar's permission.
For a vegetarian version, leave out the bacon and try using a smoked salt in place of the kosher salt.
- 2 medium (approx. 9 oz) sweet potatoes
- 1/4 t kosher sea salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 T sour cream, plus more for serving
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked bacon (about 10 slices)
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- sour cream
If cooking outside, prepare the fire or grill for medium heat (see note). If inside, preheat the oven to 425 F.
Prepare the sweet potatoes by slicing thin slits into each potato, stopping 1/4-inch from the bottom of the potato. (A trick Bashar suggests is to place chopsticks at each end of the potato, and they will stop the knife at the appropriate place.) They should look a bit like an accordion.
Season the entire sweet potatoes with the salt and black pepper.
If cooking outside in foil, prepare 4 sheets of aluminum foil to wrap each potato in. If cooking in a Dutch oven or inside, skip this step.
Using a rubber spatula, mix the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.
Mix in the shredded cheddar cheese, minced jalapeño and garlic, and the chopped bacon.
This part is tricky but forgiving of mistakes (because I broke a few potatoes!): using a spoon and your fingers, press the cream cheese-sour cream filling inside of each slit in the sweet potatoes. If your sweet potato breaks, just smoosh it back together.
Sprinkle any leftover filling on top of the sweet potatoes.
If using foil, wrap each potato tightly in foil. Or place inside the Dutch oven or place on a lightly greased cookie sheet for inside.
If cooking in a fire, place the foil wrapped potatoes around the outside of the fire (the center will be too hot). Or place the covered Dutch oven on 11 coals with 17 coals on top. For inside, bake at 425 F.
No matter where you bake your sweet potatoes, they will take around 40-45 minutes to cook through. Of course there will be more variation with a live fire than your oven.
When the sweet potato can be pierced easily with a fork through the center, it is ready. Be careful when opening any foil wrapped potatoes as they will be quite hot!
Serve sprinkled with green onions and with sour cream on the side.
Bashar has an entire section in the front of the book devoted to figuring out the temperature of your fire. It involves either the color of ash (grey with no glowing for medium) and how long you can hold your hand 3-5 inches above the fire (5-6 seconds for medium) or it can involve the number of briquettes used if using a Dutch oven. It is too much detail to go into here, so I recommend you buy the book to learn about all of your options for cooking these outside!
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