Thursday, April 12, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes

Whenever I have a bad day, there are a few things that I seem to go to in order to feel better about things. Here is my list of really great cures.

1. Hot Water. There is something incredibly soothing about lying in some hot water and soaking all the troubles away. There is also something to be said about when your stomach is upset, that a lot of people reach for a cup of hot water, plain. Or you could add ginger or lemon. But the simplicity of the heat and the calming effect of the water is hard to match. I completely understand the draw to hot tubs now.

2. Cleaning. Yes, let's discuss this one because it definitely needs a bit of an explanation. But think about the feeling of accomplishment when it is finished (the same can be said for working out, gardening, or any activity that you deem to be a chore). Getting a bit physical with things will also help to massage out all of that frustration into something productive, and when it's complete you are able to actually see an amazing result. The trick to this one is starting it. Any suggestions on how you drag yourself downstairs to start the vaccuuming process? I'm at a loss...

3. Cooking. Of course the effort to make something seems really daunting, and take out is always way easier, but if you have the right ingredients, making something delicious from home is something I always take pride in and find extremely satisfying. And especially after a long day you should be treating yourself to something wonderful. Loaded Nachos? Mega Ice Cream Sundae? Broiled Salmon with fingerling potatoes, steamed asparagus and herb and chive compote? Twice Baked Potatoes?

Ya, that third option didn't feel right in there, but hey, some people are wizard chefs and can whip up fancy in the same amount of time that it takes me to put a frozen pizza in the oven.

What is your go-to feel good food? Lately I have loved seeing all of these potato recipes. Loaded fries, potato skins, and of course, Twice Baked Potatoes. They all have a similar concept, but turn out slightly differently. I am thinking of substituting the potatoes for some yams and really having a crazy party. But let's save the crazy for another day. Today, it is about being calm.

Let's spend the next hour or so creating these beauties shall we. And if you had a bad day, why not pour yourself a nice glass of wine and grab a good book or magazine. These babies have to cook for about an hour even before we get started, so why not take that time to relllaaaaxxxx.

Ahhhhh, there goes all of the crap from the day.

Wash your potatoes, and poke some holes in them.

Set the table...

The finished product.

Twice Baked Potatoes
Makes 8 potato halves, or 4 full potatoes, depending on how you make them.

Ingredients:4 Medium Russet Potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to season
1/2 cup marble cheddar cheese, finely grated, plus more of topping the potatoes.
2 green onions, diced
4 basil leaves, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.

2. With a knife, poke 2-3 holes in each potato. Lightly brush the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes for 50 minutes, or until very soft when you put a fork in them.

3. When the potatoes are done you have two options. The first is to half each potato and make potato boats. The second is to leave the potatoes in-tact and scoop out the centres (this method is a bit more tricky). Once you have selected your method scoop out the potato centres, leaving about a centimetre (or half an inch) around the outside of the potato.

4. Place all of the potato centres that you scooped out into a bowl and begin to mash. As you are mashing add the cheese, onion and basil until well combined, and the potato mixture resembles a smooth mashed potato mix.

5. Replace the mashed potato mix back into the potato skins. Sprinkle the tops with extra cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Bake the potatoes for another 7 minutes, and then broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese on the top has crisped slightly.

1 comment:

  1. I can attest to the yummy-ness of these meal companions. I especially enjoyed the touch of fresh basil. Thanks!