Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Stuffed potato skins

For a few years while I was in high school, my mother dated a real loser who caused such problems and divisions in our family that I was only too glad to see the back of him. At least I got to escape him during term time, because I was at boarding school. My poor sister lived at home and had to bear the brunt of him.

However, he had a few speciality dishes that were memorable, this being one of them. And it is a favourite of my own family, so I guess the loser wasn't a complete loss. ;o)

Oven temperature
220C and grill

Baking potatoes, one or two per person
250g pack of bacon
1 onion, diced
250ml sweetcorn
Hard cheese such as Cheddar, grated or thinly sliced

Cover with cheese and sprinkle with paprika
  • Stab the potatoes quite deeply once or twice with the point of a sharp knife and sling them in the oven for a good 40 minutes to an hour until they are baked, and the skins have become hard. Don't be tempted to nuke them. That doesn't harden up the skins, which is essential for this recipe.
  • While the potatoes are baking, grill the bacon until crispy. If you aren't able to grill one thing and bake another at the same time because of the way your kitchen is equipped, add the bacon to the next step instead.
  • Saute the onion and sweetcorn together until soft (if you need to, you can add the bacon in here).
  • Chop the cooked bacon up quite finely.
  • When the potatoes are done, cut them in half through the longest median and scoop out the flesh, taking care not to break the skin. Place the skins onto baking trays and set aside.
  • Place all the potato flesh into a large bowl and mash it well, adding a little butter and milk as necessary to get a smooth, soft consistency.
  • Add the bacon, corn and onions and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture back into the potato skins. Remember that you have added a fair amount of volume, so you should wind up with a convex surface.
  • Cover the mixture with the cheese and sprinkle liberally with paprika.
  • Pop under the grill until the cheese bubbles.
  • Serve alone or with a salad. Oh, and do eat the crunchy skin - it's the best part!
You can of course leave out the bacon for a veggie option. You could also add other leftovers to the mix to use up your fridge fallout.

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