Debbie Dance Uhrig
This week has been a cooking frenzy. I think I’ve written recipes in every category. How about taking a stab at making twice baked potatoes. I used to view my husband’s favorite potato dish, with the following attitude: ‘Oh geez, that’s a great deal of work.’ However, I have a totally new outlook on this simple side. It can be made ahead and placed in the deep freeze.
The interior of a twice baked potato can actually be any combination of ingredients that pleases you. My recipe is a rough version of ‘smashed potatoes’ or ‘refrigerator potatoes’ which you find in my first cookbook, ‘Simply Yours’. There is one modification, the addition of the cheese of your choice.
With the fresh herbs springing to life there’s also many choices for modifications. About the only meat I’ve ever placed inside is bacon, and I usually prefer that to be placed on the top of the potato. The top of the potato can boast more cheese, bacon, chopped green onion or paprika.
The first loaded potata/potato was served in the Hasselbacken Hotel in Sweden.
Sir Walter Raleigh introduced them to Ireland in 1589. Every state in the United States grows potatoes. Before 1900 the skin on a potato was always referred to as ‘jackets’. The potato is the number one vegetable in the United States. It is also the most consumed crop.
The benefits of eating baked potatoes are mighty. First the calorie content on an average baked potato is 110 calories. This is excellent! It’s all the butter and the ‘twice baking’ that gets us into trouble. A potato contains no fat, no sodium and no cholesterol.
What it does contain is 1/2 of your vitamin C content for the day. Actually they tell us that the smaller potatoes retain more vitamin C because it doesn’t take as long to bake them. The longer it takes to bake the potato the more vitamin C that we lose. The potato is higher in Potassium than a banana. It’s filled with fiber, magnesium (great for leg cramps), copper and antioxidants. The potato makes us feel full for longer and lowers blood cholesterol.
A word of advice on eating potatoes with green skins, it is not recommended. The green skin means the potato has been exposed to too much light. Lastly, remember that a leftover baked potato reheated for the work lunchbox is now a resistance starch. When the potato is cooled and reheated it is no longer processed in your body, as a carbohydrate. Instead the potato is processed as fiber and nutrients. This gives you more energy at a steady pace instead of the carbohydrate high / drop.
Making a large batch of the twice-baked potatoes might even be a fun project to do with a friend. Again, think how fast you can have meals ready this summer. Grill the main entrée, add a salad and frozen/baked twice baked potato. Geez, think how fast you could put together dinner with family and friends, period!
Mother’s Day is coming up and so are lots of graduation festivities. Bare in mind it’s actually less expensive to do a simple dinner than it is to prepare tables and tables of appetizers and treats. The cost and the time involved in the dinner are by far a better plan. Sometimes it’s also the healthier route!
Alrighty friends grasp onto the week and enjoy it to the utmost. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Twice Baked Potatoes
For the interior of the twice baked I used the recipe on page 92, in my first cook, for Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes. This was with the addition of 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. The recipe is based upon 5 pounds of ‘baker’ potatoes.
Wash and wrap potatoes inside aluminum foil. Pierce each potato, with a knife before wrapping. Some people like to rub their potatoes in oil or butter and sprinkle with sea salt before wrapping. Place in a 350 degree oven until potatoes are soft to the touch when squeezed. Remove from oven and allow to cool, to the touch.
Cut potatoes lengthwise and gently remove the interior pulp, placing it in a bowl.
Mash pulp with a hand potato masher and add in all the ingredients listed below.
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 stick of butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Seasoning salt to taste
Cream or milk to thin, should it be too thick-
Stuff the interior pulp and above ingredients back inside the potato skins. These may be cooled and re-heated later until warm throughout or frozen for a later meal.
There’s a wide variety of changes and adaptions that can be made to a twice baked potato. Bacon bits, green onion and chives just to name a few. Change out the cheese to a smoked cheese and get an entirely different taste.
Some people prefer a ‘smoother’ take on the interior of their twice baked, and they implement an electric mixer. This is also quite acceptable.