Monday, January 6, 2014

Stuffed Potatoes

You know how some people gravitate towards one specific food, or even one cuisine? I suppose most of it comes from heritage; therefore, it's not much of a surprise that my (very, very British) parents and I love potatoes. It doesn't matter what form in which they come. Baked, mashed, fried, gnocchi'ed, we'll eat them all day.

After a frustratingly slow dinner out in Maine, we adamantly refused to venture out of the house for dinner the next night. Exhausted as usual after skiing (and recovering in the Jacuzzi), we agreed wholeheartedly on a family standby--stuffed potatoes.

Super fast and easily customizable, stuffed potatoes are always a hit at our house. They're also a greatly comforting food on a cold winter's night. Note: use any fillings/toppings that you'd like! You can really put anything you want in these. Use my ingredients as a simple suggestion, if you'd like!

You will need:
 -5 potatoes (for four people)
 -2 cups broccoli
 -1 cup chopped ham
 -1/2 cup chives
 -1 cup cheese, plus more for topping
 -2 tbsp butter
 -1/3 cup milk (approx.)

Oven temp: 350˚F

Start by cooking your potatoes in whichever way you want. We pierced them, then nuked 'em in the microwave for fifteen minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Remember that microwave times may vary! You could also bake them if you'd like, but that takes forever... ain't nobody got time fo' that.

When the potatoes are cooked, let them cool for a few minutes. Then, using a sharp knife, cut them in half.

Use a spoon to hollow the spuds out. Keep a bit of flesh on the skin, since you want to maintain the potato shape. Put the remaining scooped-out flesh into a large bowl, big enough for mashing.

Now, to the fun part. Add the butter and milk to your potato flesh, then mash away until it's at a suitable consistency. I would recommend that you don't add salt to the potatoes, since the chances are that your toppings will contain salt themselves. The last thing you want is a too-salty potato!

Prepare your toppings. We nuked our broccoli in a covered dish for three minutes in the microwave. Once it's cooked, cut it into small pieces.

Chop your ham.

Use scissors to cut your chives. Trust me.

Add your chives and cheese to the mashed potatoes. Then, we divided the mashed potato into four portions and each individualized our ingredients. I added lots of broccoli, whereas my dad included only ham. Grandma and mom wanted both!

Fill your potato shells with your mixture, then place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top with more cheese (duh) then bake them for ten or fifteen minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Take them out and serve immediately! Our stuffed potatoes were accompanied with a simple salad. They take approximately an hour from start to finish. Easy, nutritious, and delicious, I recommend these any time you need a hearty supper during the cold New England winter!

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