Now after deciding I was going to cook steak for the crowd appearing at my son’s while I was on holiday, the next issue was what to cook as a side dish that was easy to prepare ahead of time and really yummy and filling! Voila! Stuffed baked potatoes came to mind. Me and my mini assistant were doing another batch of the Guinness brownies for her Daddy and some Ginger Molasses cookies for Mommy so the oven was going to be on anyway and it made sense to use it to our advantage!
I judged it on one potato per person…1/2 for mini folk and light eaters as they are quite filling!
So the ingredients are
potatoes (as above)
spring onions/green onions (depends on country)
bacon bits/panchetta something small and tasty from the pig family
sour cream/creme fraiche (depending on country)
cheese…I used a medium cheddar but you could use sharp or mild or blue cheese or whatever cheese takes your fancy!
Scrub potatoes, prick with a fork, wrap in foil and pop in the oven until soft in the middle. I used an oven at 180c and put them in for about an hour. The cooking time depends on the size of the spud and the heat of the oven. If you can stab it with a pointy knife and it goes in easily it’s ready. Take them out of the oven with oven mitts or asbestos hands unwrap them and pop them onto a cooling rack to cool. When cool cut them in half and scoop out the middles leaving about 1/2 cm of flesh around the edge or the skins will fall apart. Put the innards into a big bowl and either mash them with a potato masher or if you are posh like us…use a potato ricer. Add milk, butter and sour cream/creme fraiche and seasoning as though you are making mashed potatoes. When the potatoes are thoroughly mashed and are lovely and creamy, taste them and season appropriately. Then add as much or as little bacon, cheese and green onion as you’d like. Scoop this mixture into the shells and then sprinkle more cheese over the top. Pop them back into a 180c oven for about 20-25 minutes so that they are heated through and the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown! Never got a chance to take a photo of these when they were cooked as they vanished in a whirlwind of hands! Maybe next time!