I’m not saying my spuds are special or anything but if Mr M ever leaves me, his chosen one better know how to rock a jacket ’cause the way to his heart is most definitely through his stomach and he’s used to potato perfection. Cooking with only an oven in winter means baked spuds feature high on the list and I’ve devised a few firm favourites over the last year.
The better the potato, the better the bake & the taste. My favourites in 2015 were from Booths and also Waitrose, not much more costly than other places, just tasted so much more like potato somehow. Here’s one of my recipes which cons you into feeling healthy due to the greenery but is still creamily decadent.
CHEESY COURGETTE SKINS (Serves four, or two in our house)
- Four large baking potatoes, pricked so they don’t explode in the oven
- One large courgette, grated
- 100g of mature cheddar, or, whatever floats your cheese boat
- Two dollops of fraiche (the best you can find, not low fat, yuk)
- 50g butter
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Rock salt & pepper, freshly ground
Heat the oven to 180* and bake the potatoes on a baking tray for an hour or until soft when you stick a knife in them.
Remove the baked potatoes from the oven and allow to cool a little. Cut in half length ways and scoop out the potato into a bowl.
Si’s Potato Skin Tip: Season lightly and pop the skins back on the tray and back into the oven to crisp up for 10mins, no-one wants a soggy bottom and this is a great way to get good skins.
Mash the potato with a fork and mix in the creme fraiche, butter, 3/4 of the cheese, courgette and season to taste.Take the skins out of the oven after 10 mins and load with the cheesy courgette mix. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 of cheese on top.
Put back in the oven to cook for 20mins, your loaded skins will be ready when the tops are starting to crisp and look like the below. They’re delicious and if you find you’ve done too many, simply allow them to cool, store in the fridge and re-heat for breakfast. They freeze well too.
For the meal shown in the main picture, I served these potatoes with thick lamb chops and stuffed peppers, all done together in the oven:
Whilst the potatoes were baking, I filled red & a yellow pepper halves with cherry tomatoes, wafer thin sliced garlic and threw in some left-over parmetier potatoes, drizzled with a little oil and seasoned. Also four thick lamb chops were brought to room temperature and seasoned.
When the skins get put back in to crisp up, stick the peppers in the oven on a foil lined tray. These take around 30mins in total so allowing 10mins for crisping the empty potato skins and then another 20mins to warm up and cook them, the potatoes and peppers will be ready at the same time.
We like our lamb pink so I heated a little oil on the peppers tray and sealed the lamb chops to roast for 20mins when I put the potatoes in for their final cook. Another five mins if you like them more well done.
Bingo: a warm room to eat in, I got the courgette I love and he’ll only tolerate, everything was cooked at the same time and the juices from the chops were drizzled over the peppers – NOM!
NB For new readers: I live in a kitchenless, hot water-less, hobless house mid-selfbuild & renovations, hence these simple / effective / hearty recipes and food advice for others in the same boat. This isn’t an expert blog for expert foodies with all the gadgets either, so don’t get all snotty if I use cheating additions and never boil / pan fry anything… because I can’t! x