February 24, 2015 --- Leave a Comment
Cooking at college has been a challenge for my oldest daughter and will certainly be one for my youngest daughter who leaves for college this fall. I continue to develop recipes that the college daughter can cook and the soon-to-be-college daughter can practice at home.
Restuffed potatoes cooked completely in the microwave turned out to be a perfect college recipe. The serving size is for six; however, with simple subtraction, the recipe can be made to serve two. The potatoes can be frozen and reheated, and the variations are limitless.
Microwave cooking is relatively straightforward, but no two microwaves cook exactly alike. So for that reason exact cooking times are not possible. Everyone gets familiar with the particular microwave at his or her disposal, making timing no problem.
When choosing potatoes to cook in the microwave, I find that russet (aka Idaho) give the best result: tender and almost fluffy. Yukon Gold also works, but red or waxy potatoes in my opinion don’t work well for this particular recipe. The size of potatoes varies widely, so I suggest large, baking-size potatoes for this recipe.
Cheese and how to measure it really does present a puzzle because ½ cup of grated mozzarella is not the same amount as ½ cup of grated Parmesan. By same, I mean weight. But 2 ounces of mozzarella, grated, is the same as 2 ounces of Parmesan, grated, even though the volume is different. That is why I always weigh cheese, then grate or slice it. Another way to be accurate if you don’t have or want a kitchen scale (just try one!) is to purchase packaged cheese that has the weight and volume on the package and then divide according to your recipe needs.
Yield: 6 (half-potato) servings
- 3 large russet potatoes, scrubbed, eyes removed, pierced with a knife
- 8 ounces sour cream or nondairy alternative
- Prepared chicken or vegetable broth as needed
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, optional
- 4 tablespoons prepared cooked bacon bits
- 4 ounces mild Cheddar or nondairy alternative, grated
- Wrap potatoes each in a paper towel. Place in microwave and cook on high until cooked all the way through. Remove from microwave and reserve.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle but not cold, slice each in half and carefully scoop out potato flesh leaving skins intact and unbroken.
- Place potato flesh in a medium bowl along with sour cream, 2 tablespoons of broth, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes very well adding more broth if needed.
- Whip potatoes using a large sturdy whisk. Stir in bacon bits and cheese and spoon mixture back into potato skins.
- Place restuffed potatoes back in the microwave and cover with a microwave safe cover. Cook on high until potatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted.
- Serve one-half potato per person.
Variations: Garnish with thinly sliced green onion. Season potato mixture with ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or to taste. Substitute Monterey Jack Cheese for Cheddar.
February 16, 2015 --- Leave a Comment
With one girl away at college and a second going next year my recipe development recently has been about what my girls can cook for themselves at college with limited equipment and facilities and maybe a shared kitchen and fridge. In an upcoming blog I will write more about the logistics of planning and shopping […]
February 9, 2015 --- Leave a Comment
Valentine’s Day is just around the calendar corner and this year I needed something chocolate that I could give to my husband and kids, to my friends and to some of my best customers. That’s a big order. But what says Valentine’s Day like chocolate? Nothing! And what says chocolate like fudge? Nothing else that […]
February 2, 2015 --- Leave a Comment
The Midwest, where we live, is right in the middle of winter: cold, snowy, icy, slippery and altogether formidable. The good news is that it’s soup weather. Winter is the time of year that I develop new soup recipes. Some of them are strictly for cold weather but others can be served hot in cold […]
January 26, 2015 --- Leave a Comment
Eureka! We all know what that means and how I felt when I finally succeeded in baking perfect gluten-free cinnamon bread. Not to overestimate the importance of my success, but I knew just how the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes felt when he uttered those words. He is the first one to whom the exclamation is […]
January 22, 2015 --- Leave a Comment
We all know what that means: a flawed project that needs to be redone or reconsidered. Where the saying comes from? According to Wikipedia (the source, seriously, of much information—I love it): The phrase originated as the caption to a cartoon produced by Peter Arno (Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr.), for the New Yorker magazine, in […]