Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Mmmmm, carbs and fat! OK, I threw some veggies in but I had to lure you down the path. I've been trying hard lately not to throw away perfectly edible food since I am probably personally responsible for about 95 billion pounds of foodwaste each year. Sure, I have a composter but it's full right now. Boo! And I am trying to consume (heh heh) more carefully. So are you, I bet! Here's a recipe that helped me out of a glut of food about to peak: twice-baked potatoes.

Let's just say you had a dozen baking potatoes in your cupboard that are, er, not in a root cellar. Eyes are sprouting (cut 'em off, kids, they're dangerous!). And your dear aunt went on vacation so you have her cauliflower and broccoli and spinach (thanks, L!)? And kind of wilty dill that was only half-eaten by your dill-nibbling child? What to do? Why, fill up the freezer with easy-to-nuke meals, of course.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

a dozen baking potatoes
lots of spinach (2 lbs-ish)
2 heads broccoli
1 head cauliflower
bunch dill
small handful chives (ours was from our herb planter out back)
splooshes of milk
goat cheese
shredded mild cheddar cheese

Bake the potatoes. 350F oven (I threw them all in next to my Nourishing Traditions Roasted Chicken) for about an hour or until fork tender. And actually that's not the exact recipe, although it's close. You have to take a couple cloves of garlic, chop off the tops and flip em over into your roasting pan to end up with oozing delight. Also? You have to quadruple the amount of onions 'cause nothing's better than caramelized, crispy baked onions. But I digress. To bake a potato, by the way, you need to poke some holes in it so the steam can escape and your potato doesn't explode. Just jab it with a fork. Also, it's nicer if it's got some fat on the outside to keep the skin supple -- I used olive oil mixed with a bit of melted butter I had left over from my bird.

(In our case, I had other stuff to do so I threw all the potatoes in the fridge overnight but I'd say optimal potato treatment would be to immediately go to the mashing step. Well, after about 10 minutes so the potatoes aren't complete molten lava.)

Prepare your veggies. Spinach: saute in olive oil and garlic (I used about 6 cloves and maybe 1/2 cup of olive oil but I am not a big measurer). Broccoli and cauliflower: steam for about 15 min. Chop your dill and garlic.

Make your delicious tater guts. Scoop out all but about 1/4" of the potato into a bowl. Mash with a potato ricer (flat round circle with holes? or an electric mixer but I like hand mashed taters much better). Don't go too crazy or your potatoes will get all gluey. Add sour cream or splooshes of milk, butter, and sea salt to taste. If serving adults, ground pepper would be nice. Stir in your finely chopped cauliflower.

Divide your remaining ingredients into smaller bowls -- ie chives plus spinach and goat cheese, broccoli plus dill and cheddar. Then throw in a proportional amount of potato-cauliflower mash. Note also that I made this up. Any veggie + cheese combo would probably work, and I was daydreaming as I made them about vegan options since I used to avoid dairy. I bet that tofutti-type cream cheese and rice milk would give you a nice consistency. Also, not like I need to tell you this, but potatoes, spinach, and broccoli should all be organic. I actually went organic on all the produce and dairy except the goat cheese. Nothing was from my CSA or particularly local except the chives and some leftover broccoli I threw into the mix.

Personally, I stuck all of my potatoes in the freezer 'cause I am just that lazy (dinners I can nuke in a minute? sign me UP!). We ate the extra filling as a side with our bird tonight.

Food leftovers are the single largest component of the waste stream by weight in the United States. Americans throw away more than 25 percent of the food we prepare. We throw away 96 billion pounds of food a year. (No Impact Man in July of 2007).
Phew! Outta the bin, into our bellies.

*Photo courtesy of sxc - my camera is a goner....


Gray Matters said...

That's a great idea - I love twice baked potatoes but always forget about making them.

I've been using up a lot of our CSA stash by throwing random stuff into our green smoothies.

MamaBird said...

Hmmm, intrigued - must go see if you have a green smoothie recipe! Thanks for the idea!

Nicole said...

Thanks for the recipe :)

FYI- I've really taken to heart to use all the stuff in my pantry and I can't believe the fun dinners that are coming out of it !!!!!!!! Thanks!

FourFather said...

Make sure to stick your skins back in the oven for crisping before refilling. I hit them with a spray of olive oil first. Crispy with the cheesy tayta filling is killer. Gman devours them.

FourFather said...

Make sure to stick your skins back in the oven for crisping before refilling. I hit them with a spray of olive oil first. Crispy with the cheesy tayta filling is killer. Gman devours them.

kate5kiwis said...

my dahling daddy used to slave over thsee cheesey potatoes.
but: no veggies.
just poh-tay-toes'n'cream'n'cheese
one of my lads is patient enough to make beautiful taters just like these.
what's taters, precious?
(guess the movie line lol)
mwah X