Friday, February 12, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

I'm really in to local food these days.  Winter is the hardest time.  And yes, I need to go back to canning when farm direct food is available again.  But for now, I'm buying at locally owned produce markets.  There are two in my area.  I like two things about them.  First, they aren't a chain grocery store. In one case, the owner is there most of the time.  And two, they sell only produce.  Not sure why I like that but I do.  Free market system at it's best, I guess. 

It was on one of these trips that a 10 lb sack of russet potatoes jumped in my cart.  I can't actualy tell you what I was thinking.  Russets are not a long lasting potatoes.  They start to sprout fairly quickly. I want Yukon gold or purple skinned potatoes for roasting.  Russets are best for baking, which is the beginning of the Twice Baked Potato story.   

And what food story do I tell that doesn't start with my Mother?  So anyway, my mother made a wonderful and delicious twice baked potatoe.  Three kinds of cheese (Jack, Cheddar, and Cottage Cheese) plus sour cream and butter.  How could it have been bad?  When I was a young adult, I made a version which had bacon.  I can't find either of these recipes and I suppose it is for the best. 

I'm looking for vegetable dishes that Husband the Carnivore/Wolf will enjoy, so the Russets are going toward operation Twice Baked Potato.  My mission, to invent a veggie filled twice baked potato without the use of too much butter fat that Husband eats and enjoys.  When I am inventing recipes I keep a sort of diary where I record what I do.  It changes over time as I figure it out.  I have the record and can write a clear recipe that others coulf follow. 

Twice Baked Potatoes
4 small russets
2 T. olive oil
1 large head brocolli, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
9 crimini or white mushrooms, chopped
1/4 c. white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 t. dry oregano
1 Roma tomato, chopped (optional)
1/4 c. sour cream (low fat is okay)
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, shredded

Start by baking the potatoes in a microwave or oven until they stick easily with a knife.  Set them aside to cool a bit.  To a skillet, add the oil then the brocolli and pepper.  Cook on medium heat, stirring for a few minutes.  Add the mushrooms, wine, garlic and seasonings.  Continue cooking as the vegetables soften and the liquid reduces.

Add the tomato now, also if desired.  By the way, garlic burns easily in a skillet and I don't like burned garlic, so I tend to add it late in the game.
Now cut the potatoes as you would a baked potato and with a spoon scoop the potato out of the center leaving enough so that the skin stays intact and you create a little boat.  I break the potato up with my spoon but don't mash it.  I like the chunks.  Add the sour cream and parmesan cheese and fill the boats with the mixture.  Put them on a baking sheet and put them in a 350 degree oven until they are very hot throughout - about 20 mintues.    
Leftovers make a good lunch. Remember to eat your vegetables. 

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