5-6 small russet potatoes, about 3" long
2-3 tablespoons earth balance (vegan butter), melted
freshly cracked black pepper
3 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, and flesh scooped out
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ medium onion, diced
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 jalapeño, sliced thin, optional, for garnish
fresh cilantro, chopped, optional, for garnish
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
about ¼ cup unsweetened unflavored almond milk
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and minced
kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 cup just mayo vegan mayonnaise
½ cup tofutti better than sour cream
a couple drops of white vinegar
fresh dill, to taste, optional
cayenne pepper, to taste, optional
paprika, to taste, optional
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
make ranch dressing: make the "buttermilk": pour lemon juice into a measuring cup then fill to ¼ cup level with almond milk. set aside and allow to curdle, about 10 minutes.
on a cutting board, sprinkle some kosher salt on the minced garlic cloves and then, with the back of a fork, begin to smush and mash the garlic and salt into a paste. combine garlic-salt paste, parsley, chives, just mayo vegan mayonnaise, and tofutti better than sour cream in a medium bowl; whisk until smooth. add "buttermilk" mixture, as necessary to thin to desired consistency. when desired consistency is reached, add a couple drops of white vinegar and any other additional ingredients, as desired. taste and correct seasonings, adding more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. chill in the refrigerator and allow flavors to meld while you make the potato skins.
make the potato skins: preheat oven to 400ºf. wash potatoes well and pierce all over with fork. place potatoes directly on middle oven rack and bake until skins are crisp and a knife or fork pierces the potatoes easily, about 50 minutes. meanwhile, make guacamole.
in a large bowl combine the avocado meat and lime juice and toss to coat. drain the lime juice off and reserve in a small bowl. add smoked paprika, salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash with a potato masher, leaving some chunks for texture. fold in the onions, jalapeño, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. set aside while you finish the potatoes.
once the potatoes are ready, remove and let cool about 10 minutes on a wire rack, or until the potatoes can be handled. set oven to broil.
slice each potato in half, lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about ¼" of the flesh intact. reserve the potato flesh for another use, like my tarragon mashed potato soup! using a pastry brush, brush the insides of the potatoes with the melted butter and season well with salt and pepper. turn the potatoes over and brush the skin sides with butter, and again season well with salt and pepper. place potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet and broil 'til the skin begin to brown and crisp, about 2 - 3 minutes (watch carefully so they don't burn!). flip skins over and broil another 2 - 3 minutes, or until beginning to brown and crisp.
remove potato skins from oven and place on serving platter. spoon dollops of guacamole on the potato skins and garnish with sliced green onions, sliced jalapeños, and chopped cilantro. serve with ranch dressing immediately.