Giving Baked Potatoes A Second Chance

stuffed-potatoes-recipeThe next time you bake potatoes, you might want to toss a few extra spuds in the oven, because you can do a lot with the leftovers.  And you don’t have to slather your taters with canned mushroom soup to make them flavorful, either – you can combine the mashed innards with a quick vegetable sautée instead, then re-bake the entire potato and enjoy it inside and out.  (I think the twice-baked skin is the best part!)  Another way to use the leftover baked potato would be to cut it into cubes and then fold it into omelets…or cut it into long strips, then brush them with spiced melted butter or extra-virgin olive oil and make your own oven fries.  (I would spice the butter with a hint of cayenne or chili powder.)  And if you have more filling than skins, you can enjoy the filling all on its own as a quick breakfast, the way I’ve done below.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Pre-baked potatoes*
Onions, diced
Bell peppers, diced
Garlic, minced
White beans, drained
Dried Italian herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or basil
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Scoop out the potato innards from the skins and place in a large mixing bowl.

In a large pan, sautée the onions and peppers in a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic, reduce heat to medium-low, and sautée for another 2-3 minutes or until garlic is soft and fragrant (but not brown and burnt!). Stir in beans and a sprinkling of herbs and salt. (I like a lot of herbs, but you might prefer a pinch. Simply season and taste, season and taste, and stop adding herbs and salt when you’ve hit your personal sweet spot.)

Stir onion mixture into the potato innards, then stuff the mixture into the skins. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the tops are barely golden brown. If you’d like, you could stir some cheese into the mixture before stuffing the skins. Hard, aged cheeses like Cheddar, Parmesan, or Manchego would be ideal. Frankly, I think Feta would be divine, too!

Leftover potatoes can be reheated the next day. Leftover stuffing can be reheated, too, or added to another dish.


* To bake your potatoes the first time around, scrub them well, pierce them several times with a fork (to keep them from exploding when heated), and place them directly on the center oven rack.  Bake average-sized potatoes at 400F for an hour.  Small potatoes may only take 40 minutes; extra-large potatoes may need more than an hour to get tender.   Your best bet is to poke a fork into them before taking them out of the oven – if the fork meets much resistance, keep baking the potatoes for another 10 minutes before test-poking them again.

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