After much hemming and hawing over having a whole lot of nothing to say, I have decided that maybe my “nothing” is enough to say. This “nothing” is a recipe.
This afternoon I could not find a good recipe for kumpirs, something that quite honestly I do not need a recipe for. I watched those tasty loaded baked potatos get made a handful of times in Turkey, enough for me to know how to make one. for potatoes and cheese to make myself a cheap, filling dinner. What I wanted was for Google to reassure me that my memory of the kumpir served me correctly, but instead I got a handful of boutique kumpir recipes very unlike the buttery, cheesy fast food version I had in Istanbul.
I know perfectly well how to prepare a kumpir, so since Google is lacking in solid kumpir recipes, I thought I would share. For about $10, you too can make an “exotic, foreign” dish. You can pat yourself on the back for being all swanky and multicultural. All it takes is a microwaved baked potato and, truthfully, whatever leftovers you feel like wrangling out of the fridge. The toppings I list are the standard kumpir toppings, but the kumpir is more of an art form of throwing everything you can find on a baked potato than of following a specific recipe. Given the dismal economy and rising food prices, I think a lot of people could get on board with my quest to lower my grocery bill without feeling like all I eat are ramen noodles. So I present the kumpir, a gloriously fatty, delicious, cheap meal.
I neither made nor ate this particular kumpir, but it looks legit. I found it on Google, which does in fact have many good things even if the specific kumpir recipe I want is not one of those things.
What you will need
Really large potatoes
Shredded mozzarella or feta cheese
Hot dogs (about 1 hot dog for every 1 large potato)
Optional, suggested additions
Ketchup & mayonnaise
Anything you need to eat right away before it goes bad
How to make your kumpir
1. Microwave cook the baked potatoes.
2. Heat up the corn and hot dogs. Cut the hot dogs into little pieces.
3. When the potatoes are cooked, split them open. Leave enough of the potato skin uncut that the potato still stands upright like an oval rather than flat on the plate like a disc.
This is an example of how NOT to slice your potato. I overcut mine and it turned into a flat, listless baked potato. My sense of spatial reasoning is not so great…
4. Scrape the potato off the skin and mash it inside the skin. Keep the skin upright here still.
5. Add the cheese in and mash it with the potato. Don’t be shy about adding cheese because in this case, the more cheese the better your kumpir will taste and look. (If you are using butter, also add it now.)
6. Add the pickles, olives, macaroni salad, etc.
7. Add the corn and hot dog slices.
8. Top with ketchup & mayonnaise.
This is how the finished DIY kumpir should look. I wish I could credit myself with producing this baked potato, but my boyfriend made this one.
The budget friendly breakdown
$2 Two giant potatoes
$2.17 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese, only about 3 oz of which were used
$2.28 Macaroni salad
$1 Package of eight hot dogs, two of which were used
$1.50 Jar of pickles, half of which were eaten
Total cost: Under $10
The best part? We will each get two meals out of those two giant potatoes, so this $10 recipe serves four people. You even have ingredients left over.