It’s no secret that most of us love potatoes. French fries, home-style fries, baked potatoes, potato soup, potato salad, and big fluffy mounds of buttery mashed potatoes. An incredibly versatile dish, it goes with virtually everything.
For centuries, potatoes have tagged along with the main dish. Now it can stand alone as the main dish. I have loved the potato forever, and now I have found something so clever and innovative, yet so simple that I can’t believe I had not seen it before.
The first saw this potato recipe at a really cool potluck. It was such a great idea that I could not believe no one had thought of it before. Of course, it could be that maybe I had just not thought of it. The next week, I received a new “Taste of Homes” cookbook. As soon as I started thumbing through the big colorful book, there it was:
The lush, juicy, scrumptious, twice-baked breakfast potato!
Of course, we have all been cooking the twice-baked potato or, as it is sometimes called, “the loaded baked potato,” for several years. I guess my family loved the basic twice – baked potato so much, we never tried to improve on it. But it can get better.
Here is the basic recipe: The measurements are subject to your judgment:
4 large potatoes, cut in half (each will serve 2 people)
Butter: 4 to 6 tablespoons
Sour cream: ½ cup for each potato half
A little half-and-half, about 2 or 3 tablespoons
Salt and pepper
Cheeses of your choices; cheddar is good (about ½ cup for each potato half, a little more for garnish
Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, 16 slices
Pork sausage, browned, about a half pound
Whatever else you want
Scrub large russet potatoes, pierce the potatoes several times, cut in half, and bake until they are very tender, in a 400-degree oven, or in a microwave. Mix the 4 eggs with a little half-and-half (1 or 2 tablespoons), and. In a small stir-fry pan, cook gently until soft. Set aside.
When potatoes are soft, take them from oven and cool until you can handle them with your hands. Scoop out pulp. Add salt and pepper, butter, cheese (save some to garnish the top of the potato) and about ½ cup of sour cream for each potato half, saving enough for garnish. Mix with a hand mixer or mash until smooth and creamy.
Stir in the green onions and bacon, leaving enough for garnish. Sprinkle with cheese and top with crumbled bacon.
Top with chives. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
You also can use leftover baked potatoes and any leftovers you have. These are also good with chili or ground beef, or chicken and gravy. They all make delicious lunches or dinners. Try something different and let us know how it turns out.
This is delicious with a big bowl of fruit.
Crispy pita BLTs
Prep: 35 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon lemon peel
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 cup panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
2 medium-size yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
8 pita pocket halves
8 romaine lettuce leaves
8 slices tomato
16 cooked bacon strips, halved
In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, garlic and lemon peels. Cover and chill until serving. Place flour, milk, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Coat slices of jalapeño with flour, then dip in milk and coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet covered with nonstick spray. Swish vegetables with additional spray.
Bake at 475 at 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown, turning once.
Spread mayonnaise mixture inside pita halves; fill with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and breaded vegetables; serve immediately.
Sloppy joe dogs
2 pounds ground beef
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 can condensed tomato soup, not diluted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon of prepared mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
16 hot dogs
16 hot dog buns, split
In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, celery, green onions, and onions over medium heat until meat is pink; drain. Stir in tomato soup, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; heat through.
Grill hot dogs, covered, over medium heat for 6 to 10 minutes. Serve on buns; top each with 1/4 cup beef mixture and cheese.
2 medium bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cans diced tomatoes, 14 1/2 ounces each, not drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper
2 pounds chicken breasts, skinned and boneless
Hot cooked rice
In a large saucepan, saute the green peppers, onions, celery and garlic in 2 teaspoons oil until tender. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid is gone. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, oregano, lemon juice, basil and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened a bit.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, saute chicken in remaining oil, in batches, until no longer pink. Return chicken to pan; stir in sauce. Heat through.
Serve over rice.
Tip of the week: Starting a recipe which calls for “cream cheese, room temperature?”
No problem. Soften it quickly by placing it in a microwave dish and turning it on high for 15 seconds or until it is soft.