Saturday, July 25, 2009
The Humble Potato
I've had a little bit of fun with potatoes this week. I had baked potatoes on my menu plan a few days ago and I ended up baking a few more than we were able to eat that evening. So what do you do with leftover baked potatoes?
I know there are tons of ideas for the versatile vegetable, but I'll tell you what I ended up doing that we all enjoyed. I took the 4 remaining potatoes and cut them in half. I scooped out some of the white centers, leaving 1/4" to 1/2" of flesh on the skins. I brushed these with olive oil and baked them for several minutes, turning halfway through, until they were pretty crispy on the outside. Then I put them peel-side down on the cookie sheet and filled the space with shredded cheese and bacon bits. I baked a little longer, just till the cheese melted. We spread on sour cream and had great potato skins another evening.
Do you think I tossed out that scooped potato?? Heck, no!! I put it in a container in the refrigerator. Today for lunch, I pulled it out and dumped it into a saucepan and added some milk. I stirred until it was about to boil, then simmered it for a bit. During the simmer time, I stirred in bacon bits, cheese, and some dill weed, along with a tiny bit of salt. My son and I had absolutely delicious baked potato soup for lunch. We thoroughly enjoyed those "leftover" baked potatoes.
Another idea for cooked potatoes is to cut them into chunks and toss with a little Lawry's seasoning salt. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 375° until they crisp up a bit. Then top with your favorite shredded cheese and return to the oven until it melts - yummy!
If they aren't baked until they're super soft, you can cut them into cubes and make a flavorful potato salad. However, you have to have them baked just till they are barely done or they will fall apart when you stir. Be gentle, and only try this if your potatoes aren't too soft.
If, on the other hand, they are baked until they are super-soft, you might make smashed potatoes - just mash them up, skins intact, and add some milk and seasonings. Cut some cream cheese into cubes and mix it in, then pop into the oven till it's heated through. Stir and serve.
I know there are plenty of other things to do with potatoes. These are some of my family's favorites. Do you have some great ideas to share? Please leave a comment!!