Sauteed Mushroom Gouda and Kale Potato Skins

February 11, 2015

Sauteed Mushroom Gouda and Kale Potato Skins

The other night I was discussing reality television with a friend of mine.
We both agreed that reality TV was somehow interesting at first, but the fact that it's gotten so over-abused proves that its 15 minutes have largely passed.
Nowadays, every channel has a reality show about pretty much everything: drive a truck on ice -> get a show; have a bunch of kids -> get a show; have an embarrassing complaint/lump -> get a show; make your daughter a star -> get a show; be a complete idiot -> get a show.
It’s not even interesting anymore.
Even cooking shows are getting boring and old to watch.
There are too many of them: Top Chef, Master Chef, Chopped, Hell’s Kitchen, The Taste, The Kitchen, The Next Food Network Star, the list goes on forever.

Kale and Mushrooms

Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly appreciate the creative input. You learn a lot about creativity, creative thinking, and creative process in these shows.
I also understand that the audience is hungry for good story, and that’s what the producers are going to fed them.
But what really bothers me in these reality show is the overly dramatic back stories that fill them.
I resent the idea that in order to succeed in a cooking competition there must have been some sort of tragedy in the contestants’ lives at some point. Even if there has been, I don’t want to know about it; all I’m interested in is how good they are at cooking.
I honestly don’t see the link between being talented in the kitchen and the fact that the contestant comes from a poor upbringing, has overcome a disease in the past, or has lost a loved one.

Kale Pesto

Not to mention, that most of the time these backstories seem (and probably are) fabricated.
You often read how people lives are often manipulated into mass-marketed entertainment in these shows.
At times it feels that their only purpose is to reduce contestants to either good or bad characters. The emphasis is often more on the emotional explosion than the cooking itself.
Not to mention the part where contestants are humiliated in front of the cameras, really makes me cringe.
I don’t find particular pleasure in watching people being degraded.
It seems as reality TV is the networks way to avoid quality programming while still making a profit.
I’d rather watch a well edited and high quality show - such as No Reservations - than kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and plates thrown like a frisbee.

Sauteed Mushroom Gouda and Kale Potato Skins

Still, it’s on one of these shows that I got the inspiration for this recipe (and btw I’m not going to mention which show!) During an episode a contestant made a mouthwatering grilled cheese with sauteed mushrooms, kale and cheese.
It looked so good, I was like “I should make this asap!”
Then it dawned on me, instead of grilled cheese, why not using potato skins?
What a brilliant idea that has been!

Sauteed Mushroom Gouda and Kale Potato Skins

These potato skins really hit the spot and I didn't regret even one delicious bite.
Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, toasty on top, and a little decadent. Green enough that you won’t feel the need to make a salad on the side.
I do hope you make ‘em because I can’t tell you enough how delicious these are.
As always you can take liberties here: using another green of your choice (or basil pesto for that matter); you could use Parmesan, cream cheese or goat cheese instead of the Gouda I used.
I guarantee you, these potato skins will become one of your weeknight favorites.

Sauteed Mushroom Gouda and Kale Potato Skins

Sauteed Mushroom Gouda and Kale Potato Skins                                                 Print this recipe!

Serves 6 as a side (or 3 as a hearty main)


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 ounces white button (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
¼ cup white wine or broth
salt and pepper to taste


6 red Idaho potatoes or 3 Russet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup sour cream
½ cup coarsely grated gouda (or cheddar, gruyere, or comtĂ©)

Kale pesto

1 bunch of kale (roughly ½ lb / 226 gr), de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
⅓ cup walnuts
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Romano cheese, grated
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup cooking water, plus more if needed



In a skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter together with the oil. Add onion and saute’ until translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme and saute’ until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the sliced cremini mushrooms and saute’ until they turn golden brown and begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Add the wine (or broth), deglaze the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Gently scrub potatoes but do not peel. Pierce a few times with a fork.
Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (40 minutes if you’re using Russet potatoes).
When they're cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes in half, scoop out most of the flesh but leave a little bit attached to the skin to help them hold their shape (leave about ¼-inch of skin and potato.)
Melt the butter and combine with olive oil. Brush the insides and outsides of the skins and bake for another 5-10 minutes, skin side up, until nice and crispy.

Kale pesto

Bring a heavily salted pot of water to a roiling boil. Add garlic and kale (making sure to submerge it in the water) and blanch for 3 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon fish the kale and the garlic out of the water and transfer to a colander. Allow to cool slightly and using the back of a spoon (or your hands if you dare) squeeze out some of the water.
In a food processor add walnuts; pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the blanched kale, garlic and lemon juice. Pulse until the kale is broken up and nearly smooth. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides. Throw-in Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese and red pepper flakes (if using). Pulse again and while the food processor is running slowly add the water until the pesto reaches a creamy consistency.
Transfer kale pesto to a bowl and using a spoon stir in the olive oil until it’s completely absorbed.
If the kale pesto looks too thick, add more water (not oil), one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Assemble potato skins

In a large bowl mash up the potato flesh until it becomes one cohesive mass. Add the sour cream, ¼ cup of the gouda cheese, the kale pesto (I used about 4 tablespoons), and season with salt and pepper.
Heap filling in the prepared potato skin, top with mushrooms and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup gouda cheese.
Pop in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes to finish.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 317 calories, 19 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of protein.


  1. Never in my life have I wanted potato skins for breakfast - until right now.

    I don't watch any of the cooking shows anymore - except Top Chef! Boston this season, and finale tonight :)

    1. I used to LOVE Top Chef but for some unknown reasons I got bored of it, but if you recommend it I might give it another try...

  2. Woah these sound outstanding. My lunch plans have changed!
    I don't watch the reality shows either, there is no way people are actually that mean. I had high hopes for one of those cooking shows you mentioned. I wanted to learn things!

  3. Hi Mike, I agree with you too many reality shows!!! yikes now I feel better, anyway love how you treated these potato skins and the kale pesto is genius.

  4. thank you for ruining my life with another one of your recipes Mike...I'll be sure to enjoy them whilst watching some outrageously trashy 'reality' tv!

  5. Can I blame you for my weight gain ;-) Oh my...they look delicious. So going to give this a try.

    1. To be honest these potatoes are filling but also full of goodness and not that high in calories ;)

  6. So ... when I think I am missing out by not watching enough TV - turns out I really am NOT - Thanks my friend for enlightening me as to the perils of Reality TV!
    Btw - these potato skins sound jolly good!

    1. There's no such thing as "Not watching enough TV", but there's a thing such as "Not eating enough potato skins" ;)

  7. Love stuffed potato skins... especially one's that contain as much delicious cheese and stuffing as these. Just divine Mike!

  8. Glad you were not hurt in the pinata session, I was sure none of your readers would take you up on that. Still, I worried

    I am in complete agreement with you - and I add one show to the list of "NO WATCH NO WAY", which is Worst Cooks in America. THe whole concept seems so asinine to me, that I don't even know how to properly criticize it.

    I used to enjoy a potato skin concoction made by a cafe near our department ages ago - we would go there for informal meetings on Friday afternoons. Your post brought me memories, I should try to re-create that at home

    1. I totally agree "Worst Cook in America" is the worst, like the worst of the worst. I don't care to wathc somebody who can't cook and makes a mess out of anything.
      I want to watch some talented chef from whom I can learn something useful!

  9. Mike, I love your take on reality shows. I stay away from them, at least in part because I don't like the emotional hype.

    Your potato skins recipe sounds delicious. For that reason I'm glad that you suffered through whatever show inspired them. Not glad for your suffering, just glad for the inspiration.

    1. To be honest, I didn't suffer that much, just a little. But it was worth it in the end, right?

  10. Mmmm, I love potato skins!...and reality TV, actually, though I totally feel you on quite a few points, namely the fabrication part. The editing is priceless as that reaction really to what he/she just said, or did it happen five minutes before? Some stuff is just too over the top. Shark Tank is my fave though, you should give it a shot before you write off reality TV altogether! :)

    1. I like Shark Tank and I watch it from time to time. I particularly like when a contestant comes in with a product super bad and asks for like a ton of money and you can tell by the "sharks" face that they're thinking "Is this for real!"

  11. Mr.Mike, I totally agree w/you # Reality Shows # Cooking Shows. I liked the old ones that were on PBS on Saturdays and ALL DAY Saturday!! Personally I really like " Mind of a Chef" on PBS Sundays. These cooks incorporate foods that are naturally grown in the area they live. Genius!! If u can use the things around u that grow, instead of buying from other states (or countries) or that I grow what a better way!! Getting back to the food I really enjoyed your Ginger and Turmeric Carrot. Delish!! I also roasted the carrots and added Greek yogurt.!! Thanks :)

    1. I love "Mind of a Chef" too Karen, but I don't consider it "Reality TV".
      I'm so glad you enjoyed to soup, it's one of my faves too!

  12. Mike....I totally saw you on the Kardashians.

    This trumps ANY sandwich out there- Sending it to my sister to make (it's her turn this weekend!)

    1. In fact, I am Kim's biggest fan. How did you discover it? That's the real question here... :/

  13. I agree with you here, Mike! Reality tv is so overdone. It's way past it's 15 minutes of fame. (Although, I do agree with Arman wife was watching the Kardashians the over night and I swore I saw you hanging out in the corner with Kim and Kanye. *cringe*) My sister was actually filmed for an episode of Say Yes to the Dress, but she pulled out after the filming because the whole thing was faked and staged. It was a terrible experience. We should start our own reality show. WolfpackTV. And we'd feature things like potato skins stuffed with mushrooms, gouda and kale. Sound like a plan? #WolfpackTV

    1. Oh man, so you saw me as well? Next time I'll have to more careful then ;)

  14. Dude, I'm so with you with all the reality TV. Remember the days when it was only Survivor (the 1st one, not #52 or whatever season they are on). Even the cooking shows are getting crazy over dramatic. Just cook the darn food and shut up. #wolfpacktvguide

    These skins... they are totally legit! Loving all the flavors!

    1. Survivor 1st season was good, but it got old immediately.
      And I'm 100% with you "Just cook the damn food and forget about the rest!"

  15. Sometimes I think I live on another planet because I never know what people are talking about with one show or another, but it sure sounds like I'm not missing out in the least! Amazing take on potato skins, popping color and gourmet flavor, they've got everything going on! :)

  16. Oh, totally agree here. We were talking the other day too, that even cooking shows are all about competitive stuff, seriously. It's so overdone, I hate turning on to see food network.
    Oh well....
    Your dishes are amazing, we love some good potato skins. Yum.

  17. I think the only reality TV we watch is The Voice, but I've never watched anything else. I feel my life is interesting enough and there's always quality, stuff on cable. Love the BBC channel, too. Broadchurch was a fantastic show, check it out on Netflix.
    As for these beauties, wow! I'm digging the kale pesto and all nested in a potato skin. Hell yes! #WolfpackEats!

  18. You know, reading this posts made me realize I that I don't think I've *ever* made potato skins....pretty sure I need to remedy that with this recipe ASAP- yum!


  19. Oh my gosh, this looks delish! For sure gonna try this!
    Thank you!