Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Stuffed Jacket/Baked Potatoes

Both potatoes and rice are good sources of carbohydrates and minerals. However, compared to processed white rice baked potatoes are way better in nutritional values and fiber content. So, once in a while, I try to make dinner/lunch with baked potatoes instead of rice-based dishes. Baked potatoes are easy and need very little of your time. Most of the work is done in the oven so even young children can be involved in the preparation of it while the adult handles the oven. More over, baked potatoes offer a wide variety of choices in their topping. It is pretty much like rice and can be topped with anything making a wholesome filling meal. Tonight, Anjalie and I wanted to decorate the Easter bonnet. After all, Easter is just around the corner. So I chose to make baked potatoes for dinner since we can pop the potatoes in the oven while we worked on our bonnet. Instead of making mixed bean chilli/ the usual curry, for the topping, I decided to simply do stuffed baked potatoes with sweet peppers, cheese and sweet corn and served it with side salad making a very enjoyable meal for all 3 of us with very little effort. Best of all it does not use any oil and totally guilt-free. Perfect!

 You will need:
4 medium baking potatoes
100 grams grated Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese/ Spicy Mexicana cheese
100 grams of sweet corn (I used 1/2 a can unsalted sweet corn and used the other half in the salad)
100 grams mixed sweet peppers
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-3 tbsps of chopped fresh herbs of your choice -thyme/dill, coriander, oregano, basil etc
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan assisted. Cover the potatoes in foil and bake the potatoes for about 1 hr until cooked.  If you want the skins to be crispy skip the foil and cook in the oven for 1 hr. I suggest using the foil for very little children to keep the skin soft or peel out the crispy skin before serving it to them. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven back to  200C/180C fan assisted. Cut the potatoes in half. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the middle of the potato, leaving the skin unbroken (like a boat). Anjalie loves to help me with this. Place the scooped potato into a mixing bowl.

Using the fork/masher mash the potato until there are no lumps. Add the cheese, sweetcorn, peppers, fresh herbs, salt and balck pepper and pepper sauce (if using) and mix well. Using the spoon, carefully scoop the mixture back into the potato boats. Make sure that you use all the mixture up. Sprinkle with a little extra grated cheese and place on a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins until the cheese has melted and is golden on the top.

For older children who can handle tooth picks safely you can cut a small cheese triangle and stick it with a tooth pick on to the boat as a sail! Serve warm with a side salad.

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