Me and stuffed potato skins go way back.
We first met back in the ’80s. Reagan was in the White House, girls had big hair and wore torn Flashdance half-sweatshirts, and sports bars everywhere served deep fried potato shells stuffed with cheese, bacon and scallions.
Flash forward to the ’90s, where as a banquet chef I used a piping bag to fill countless potato shells with a mixture of mashed potatoes and parmesan cheese.
In the ’00s, however, the stuffed potato skin waned in popularity, toppled from its sports bar throne by the Buffalo chicken wing. Even the Great American Potato Factory at the mall food court eventually went out of business.
Well, I’m bringing it back! This time as a legitimate vegetarian option.
With more and more people considering the vegetarian lifestyle, chefs are challenged to find tasty, filling and nutritious entrees to meet the growing demand. After all, there are only so many things you can do with lentils!
Loaded twice-baked potatoes fit the bill. They not only look great on the plate, but they tastes amazing and leave you satisfyingly full.
Potatoes are among the least expensive and most nutritious vegetable you can buy. Make them the centerpeice of your entree and you can start counting the money you are saving.
So break out those sweatshirts (What a Feeling!) and poof up your hair, because everything old is new again
Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes
3 medium russet potatoes
1 TBS EVOO
Sea salt, coarse grind
Fresh cracked black pepper
2 TBS unsalted butter
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
4-5 medium black olives, sliced
2 scallions, sliced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Rub potatoes with EVOO, lay out on baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse grind sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Bake until done, about 45 minutes. Fully cooked potatoes will easily give when squeezed. Cool. This can be done 1-2 days ahead of time.
2. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Using an ice cream scoop, remove flesh of two potatoes and place in mixing bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch wall all the way around each potato half. Lay potato shells onto baking sheet, spray generously with pan spray, then bake until crisp, about 30 minutes, and remove from oven.
3. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the third potato and crumble into the mixing bowl. Add sour cream, half the shredded cheddar and all but 2 TBS of the parmesan and fold together. Use a tablespoon to fill all four potato halves evenly with the filling. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and return to oven until heated through, about 25 minutes. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, remaining shredded cheddar, scallions, black olives and diced tomatoes.
These also can be served as an appetizer. Or step into your time machine, set the dial for 1984, add crumbled bacon and throw the whole vegetarian thing out the window.
What are some of your favorite recipes from the ’80s? Share them in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!