In the past week, my life was turned upside-down and inside-out so thoroughly that I couldn’t tell you which was up, left, right, inside or down. What caused all the commotion? Well, my work schedule was – for lack of a better way to put it – really effing weird. El Gaucho has a handful of sister restaurants in the Seattle area and one of them is having their busiest summer in ages. AQUA by El Gaucho is a beautiful seafood restaurant offering one of the best views of a Puget Sound sunset in the city. Apparently, they have been so bang-out busy the past couple of weeks that they needed to call in reinforcements for support. Guess who they called? That’s right… me. It was pretty cool to move over to another Mackay property for a minute and see what they’re all about. The staff there is really fun, there are windows all over the place and I got a little bit more color in my skin from all that time spent pouring wine on Pier 70. It didn’t suck, but it felt really odd. In the past few weeks, I’ve worked more at AQUA than at the Gaucho.
But the event that really turned me upside-down for the past week had absolutely nothing to do with work. The wedding of one of my closest friends, Brynn, to her now-husband, Ryan, took over my existence for almost all of the past month. I spent two 90-degree days baking pie. I went to Nordstrom four times for wedding-specific purchases (read: absolutely nothing fun – for myself – was bought). I had to scramble together a slapstick work schedule. Puppy dates were limited. Mani-Pedis became mandatory instead of fun. I ate out - a lot. My fridge emptied and has been tragically empty for most of the past week. When I had my hair done last week, I was told that my awkward bang grow-out that I’ve been working on for two months had to be eliminated because of pictures… my hair is now just as short as it’s ever been in the name of Brynn’s wedding.
It was all worth it. Watching Brynn marry the coolest dude she could have found for herself was such a blast. I’ll post pictures as soon as I get my camera back from the farm where it was held at. This post will be about the quickest meal you could possibly make when you’re strapped for time like I have been. Seriously, this sucker is full of carbs to get you moving while being hearty enough to keep you full while you run around like a chicken with your head cut off.
Chipotle Sweet Potato Skins
1 lb. chicken sausage
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus some reserved sauce
Handful fresh herbs (I used basil, oregano, chives)
1 sweet potato (per serving)
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Poke some holes in a sweet potato with a fork and pop it into the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until soft.
2) Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add your sausage to the skillet and cooking, breaking it up into pieces until sausage is cooked through – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3) Remove any extra fat from the skillet and return it to medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add coconut oil. When the oil is ready, put in your red bell peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until onions become translucent.
4) Meanwhile, chop up your chipotle peppers and fresh herbs. When vegetables are done cooking, toss them with the chipotles, herbs and reserved sausage. Mix in as much adobo sauce as you’d like.
5) When your baked sweet potato is ready, slit open the top and create a cavity for the stuffing. Place about 1/2 cup of stuffing inside the potato and reserve the rest for your next harried meal. To make this an even faster meal, you can prep your sweet potato by microwaving it for 5 minutes.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Serves: Makes enough stuffing for 4-5 sweet potatoes