Loaded Baked Potato (Kumpir)

Kumpir is a popular fast food in Turkey which is essentially a loaded baked potato with numerous toppings. You can get your starch, protein, vitamins all from this tasty dish. Since I did not consume this food much when growing up in Turkey I do not make it frequently in my home. There is a very famous kumpir chain in Turkey which I ran across a couple years ago while strolling through the streets of Vancouver with my husband. It was the same Kumpir chain from Turkey. I was surprised Kumpir had made it all the way to this side of the world with the same name. We did not eat there but that day I thought to myself I could share a Kumpir recipe with everyone in my blog. I made it several times since then and finally I am sharing one of those recipes with my favorite toppings.

You can be very creative and adventurous with the toppings. You may use chicken, beef or all vegetarian. You may add sliced olives, pickles, corn, dill and other vegetables. The sky is the limit. Enjoy with a salad and/or plain yogurt.

Note: If you’d like the skin of your potatoes crispy, do not wrap in aluminum foil.

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 lb New York Strip steak or any type of other meat (diced)
1 small red bell pepper (diced)
1 small green bell pepper (diced)
4 cremini mushrooms (sliced)
6-7 green onions (chopped)
2 tbsp parsley (chopped)-optional
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 tbps grated sheep milk kasseri cheese (or any other desired cheese)
Mayonnaise (adjust to taste)
Ketchup (adjust to taste)

Wash potatoes well using a vegetable brush. Dry potatoes with paper towel and pierce from a couple places with a fork. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1.5 hours. Wrapping in aluminum foil is used for softer skin. If crispy skin is desired, do not wrap in aluminum foil.

Heat a pan and add the meat. Sauté for several minutes until the meat releases its juices. Pour out the juices that are released from the meat and add the olive oil. Add green bell pepper, red bell pepper and mushroom and stir for 5 minutes. Add salt, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper. Continue mixing until the peppers are softened.

Cut the potatoes lengthwise from the middle with a knife. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Add a few spoonfuls of the meat, red/green pepper and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp of the cheese. Add ketchup and mayo. Sprinkle with green onions and parsley. Enjoy warm.