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The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchen that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient pancetta, an unsmoked Italian bacon. Pancetta is popularly used to add flavor in many Italian recipes for sauces, but in this twice-baked potato recipe it becomes a star ingredient in the filling and the topping. And along with eggs and cheese this dish has the same comfort as a bowl of pasta carbonara. These Carbonara Stuffed Potatoes with Crispy Pancetta make a great meal on a day when you’re looking for a comforting dish, but what they’re really meant for is enjoying with family on Super Bowl Sunday while watching the game.
Start the recipe by cooking the pancetta until nice and crispy, then let it drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in an unconventional way. Pierce them all over with a fork and add them to a paper bag with the top folded over several times. Microwave for 15 minutes on high, flipping the bag over twice during the cooking process. Test with a skewer for doneness and let cool for 5 minutes before handling.
Now it’s time to prepare the spud for stuffing. Cut a slit into each potato right down the center. Remove the flesh, leaving only half an inch around the inside. Add the flesh to a bowl and combine with half-and-half, 2 1/2 cups of Parmesan, the scallion whites and half the pancetta. Season with salt and pepper. Mash until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture back into the hollowed-out skins. Then make a well in each potato and crack an egg into each. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the eggs are set. Sprinkle over with the remaining Parmesan and place under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with remaining pancetta and scallion greens. Your family won’t be able to resist them.
Get the Recipe: Carbonara Stuffed Potatoes with Crispy Pancetta