Baked Potato Night

Basic Baked Potatoes
400 degrees for 1 hour. Pierce them with a sharp knife several times. You can rub them with olive oil and salt before you bake them, if you like. I like mine just plain.

I am a purist and like my potatoes oven-baked, but if you’re in a hurry and/or feeling super lazy, go ahead and microwave your potato for five minutes, turn it over, microwave for five more minutes, let it rest for a minute, and you’re good to go.

Classic Loaded Baked Potato
For each potato:

a pat of butter
about 1/3 cup of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces and quickly blanched in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drained
a hefty pinch of shredded cheddar
a couple of dollops of sour cream
about a tsp of bacon bits (freshly made or prepackaged)
a sprinkling of chives, salt and pepper
Vary your amounts depending upon your personal preferences.

SW Black Bean and Spinach Baked Sweet Potatoes
(Filling makes topping for about six baked potatoes)

olive oil
one 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup green salsa
½ cup corn, fresh or frozen
shredded Monterey jack or crumbled queso fresco cheese
salt and pepper
Sauté the bell peppers over medium high heat in a Tb of olive oil until they start to soften, about five minutes. Add the spinach and corn and sauté until the spinach wilts. Add the beans and the salsa and cook for about three more minutes until well mixed and piping hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture over your split, fluffed baked potatoes and top with as much cheese as you like.

Artichoke, Mushroom, & Goat Cheese Baked Potato
(Filling for four potatoes)

1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
4 oz chevre goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
First, sauté the sliced scallions in half a tsp of butter over medium high heat for about eight minutes or until they start to become browned and crispy. Remove from pan. Add another tsp of butter to the pan and sauté the mushrooms for about 10 minutes until they become golden. Toss the artichoke hearts into the pan with the mushrooms and cook until they are hot, just a couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan.

Split your baked potato in half. Using a fork, fluff the inside with a little bit of butter and goat cheese, mixing lightly but not too much. It’s nice to have pockets of cheese throughout. Spoon the artichoke mushroom mixture on top of each half, then sprinkle the crispy scallions and a bit more goat cheese on top.


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