Blackened Manchego Potato Rounds are a damn near perfect combination of crispy and creamy. When they cool down a bit, the texture is still a mouth-watering mix of caramelized flavor and cheesy goodness.
Blackened Manchego Potato Rounds are a great dish to bring to a potluck. Show up all the fools that bring that boring store-bought potato salad. This comfort food is sure to be a winner. The crumbly, nutty, sharp cheese and the veggie bacon add a smoky flavor to these potatoes.
So delicious. And if you happen to have leftovers, they make the most amazing hash – just chop them up and sauté them the next morning with a few onions and scramble in some eggs, for a hearty, tasty breakfast.
Other than planning for the roasting time (just under an hour), these couldn’t be easier and make the most fabulous side dish for just about anything.
There are around 670 types of cheese in the world. They may share similar origins and even geographical backgrounds, but each have their own distinct make, taste, flavor, texture, and aroma
I went with a crumbling cheese with a spicy edge om it. You can grate whatever cheese you like best though.
Manchego is Spain’s most famous cheese. Produced in La Mancha in Central Spain, true Manchego is made from 100% sheep’s milk. Cheeses from Spain are commonly made from sheep’s milk because most of the territory is rocky and dry– unfriendly to cows but suitable for raising goats and sheep. The abundance of wild herbs on Central Spain’s grazing lands gives Manchego a special taste and aroma. Its flavor is zesty and exuberant, while its texture is firm, but not dry.
Manchego cheese substitutes:
- Asiago – It has a milky, mild, sharp, full flavor with a pungent aroma. This makes it a versatile cheese to be used for melting, slicing, grating, and is often used in enriching the tastes of soups, pastas, sauces, sandwiches, salads, etc.
- Pecorino Romano – It has a sweet and aromatic taste with a rubbery soft texture. As the cheese ages, it gets crumbly, flaky, grainy, and dense, while adopting a salty, spicy, smoky, and sharp flavor, and a nutty and strong aroma. It might not be palatable for everyone because of its extremely salty taste. But it does go really well when paired with a good, bold Italian wine or in small quantities as a garnishing over pasta, breads, and casseroles.
- Zamorano – Zamorano is a popular Spanish cheese that is made from sheep’s milk, and not just any sheep, but the milk of Castilian and Churra sheep. The cheese originated in the Castile-Leon, Zamorano in Spain. This cheese has a pale yellow color and a crumbly, hard texture. If it is health you seek, you should know that the Zamorano cheese has 45% fat in it!
Zamorano has a nutty and buttery taste and is often paired to compliment Zinfandel wines.
Blackened Manchego Potato Rounds are happy to host any cheese. I baked the cheese a little longer, so I had little crispy bits throughout. Softer cheese that melts fast is ok too.
- 3 pounds russet potatoes
- 2 cups shredded Manchego cheese
- 4 strips Sweet Earth Hickory & Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon
- 6 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- ½ Tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tsp. salt
- ½ Tsp. pepper
- 1¼ cups vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
- Place oven rack in upper-middle position of oven and heat oven to 475 degrees.
- Combine melted butter, broth, garlic, thyme, in a medium bowl.
- Square off ends of potatoes and cut into 1-inch thick disks.
- Dip potato slices in broth mixture.
- Use a layer of foil and some cooking spray so the potatoes don't stick.
- Arrange in a single layer in 2 metal baking pans.
- Add salt pepper, & red pepper flakes.
- Roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove pans from oven and use a spatula to flip potatoes over.
- Drizzle on more of the broth
- Place back in oven for 15 minutes.
- Cook veggie bacon and set aside on paper towel to drain.
- When bacon cools enough to touch, crumble it up and set aside.
- Remove pan from oven and flip potatoes one more time.
- Add cheese & bacon.
- Place back in oven until potatoes are tender & cheese melted, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use scissors to cut up some scallions over the top and serve.
Cooking tunes: Best Of Soundtracks Tarantino & Rodriguez
Writing tunes: Best of Soundtrack vol.2 (Rodriguez, Tarantino, Lynch)