Thursday, June 5, 2014

Baked not once, but twice!

The list of things my nine-year-old will eat seems to get shorter every day. Most recently she announced that she never liked chicken quesadillas. Never? Really? I must have missed that. So finding a food she loves gives me equal doses of excitement and annoyance. I'm happy to finally find a winner but irritated that it's so difficult. 

This brings us to the mighty potato. Julia will eat mashed potatoes (with butter, no gravy) and has even started to enjoy french fries. Many other forms of potato goodness are met with her disgust: diced, home fries, hash browns. I must very carefully present a baked potato to avoid having it thrown at my head, but twice baked she'll scarf down whole spuds and ask for more. It's nonsensical, but it is our side dish reality. I make a lot of twice baked potatoes.

Potatoes - one per person plus one extra
Sour Cream (can substitute skim milk)
Salted Butter
Salt & Pepper
Grated Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Step One

Pierce the potato skin all over with a fork.

Step Two

Bake the potatoes. I love my microwave and it's special buttons. Popcorn and pizza work perfectly for their respective food items, but here you'd want to press "Potato." I turn them over midway through the cook time. You could also grill or bake the potatoes in the oven.

Step Three

Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the baked flesh into a mixing bowl. They will be hot so use a pot holder. Reserve the skins, placing them in a shallow baking dish. I overstuff the skins so we each get at least one. I don't have to worry if I rip a few skins during the flesh removal process because I just put that filling into another skin.

Step Four

Add a generous dollop of sour cream (or substitute about 1/4 cup of milk), four tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper to the mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes until they're creamy and all ingredients are incorporated.

Step Five

Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins.

Step Six

Top with shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Step Seven

Bake at 350-450 (whatever oven temp you're using for the main dish) for about ten minutes or until potatoes are warm through and the cheese is melted.

Whether they're just that delicious or because she knows I love her enough to bake her potatoes not once but twice, these are consistently a family favorite. Until the day she tells me she never liked them. But today is not that day!