Kicked Up Potato Skins
You go to any news site or open any newspaper… there is at least one article on some scientific research which apparently proves that some food item or other is bad for you, healthwise. Go to the same web site, open the same newspaper a month later and you will find reports of another research project which proves the exact opposite. And if you pay attention over time, this cycle will repeat itself over and over, for sure.
Take the case of butter. More butter, better food… that was the motto of the times of Julia Child. Then came the butter police with their cautionary tales and scary statistics. Research was quoted linking butter directly to high cholesterol, leading to heart health problems. Today? Today the cycle has come full circle… to the conclusion that butter, in fact, is good for you, particularly for your heart!
Another case in point is that of potatoes. At one time, it was believed, based on “scientific research” that the skin on the potato contained toxins. So users were advised to peel the potatoes diligently. Then, later came research with the findings that the potato skin is loaded with potassium and iron and niacin and all kinds of goodies, in addition to essential fiber! That is where the situation stands now. Will it change again? Who knows, we can only guess!
I personally find all this a bit amusing. And if the dish I’m planning to cook with potatoes will be better with skins, I keep them on; otherwise peel them. I keep it that simple.
So the other day, when the craving for potatoes hit me, as it does every so often, I chose to do a combo – a dish of potato skins stuffed with goodies. And what did I do with the scooped out potato flesh? That is a topic for another day!
Starting with nice mealy large potatoes is the key to arriving at potato skins worthy of being stuffed. And smear them with some salt before baking to get the skins tasting even better. Out of the oven, just slice them and scoop out the flesh.
I used a simple mix of some veggies along with black beans and corn for the stuffing. Actually, you can try any of the combinations that you have used elsewhere. One of these days, I’m going to do a chopped meat version; should be yum.
And for the sauce, I used a bit of soy sauce, sriracha and some mixed herbs. This mixed herbs is a staple in my house. I grow herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage and such, during the summer and fall, on my window sill. When the weather gets too cold for them and they start kind of drooping, I harvest them all and put into a warm oven to get slow dried. Crush them all together when perfectly dry and you got a year’s worth of fragrant herbs. Store them in an airtight container on the door of the freezer.
Serve with thinly sliced peppers and mini greens.
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 red onion
- 2 ribs celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ green pepper
- ½ orange pepper
- 1 cup black beans, from a can
- 1 cup corn, from a can
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce (or any other chilli sauce)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp mixed herbs of your choice
- Chedder cheese shavings to tp
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree farenheit.
- Smear the potatoes with 1 tsp of salt and the vegetable oil.
- Place them on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to an hour, till done.
- Allow them to cool outside the oven.
- Chop the onions and celery into small pieces.
- Slice the garlic thinly.
- Slice the peppers into thin long strips.
- Drain the beans and corn and keep aside.
- In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil.
- When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery and garlic.
- Sauté them till transparent.
- Add the black beans and corn to the mix, along with enough salt, and stir well.
- Add half the sliced peppers and the sauces and herbs to the mix.
- Mix well and take off the heat.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the flesh from the inside, leaving a quarter inch border all around, forming a shell.
- Set the oven on Broil.
- Divide the prepared vegetable mix among the potato shells.
- Top with shaved cheese and keep under the broiler for 5 minutes.
- Serve on a platter garnished with the rest of the sliced peppers and mini greens.