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Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes become even tastier when they are stuffed and then baked again!

Ingredients:

  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables, such as peas, carrots,
      corn or broccoli, or a mix
  • 2 or 3 slices ham or smoked turkey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese (1/4
      pound)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Before you start
Be sure an adult is nearby to help.

Position an oven rack in the middle of an oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the potatoes on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, make 2 deep slits, 1 lengthwise and 1 crosswise, across the top of each potato. Cut about halfway into the potato.

Bake the potatoes
Put the potatoes in the oven, directly on the oven rack, and bake until they feel soft when you squeeze them (wear oven mitts!), about 1 hour.

Prepare the filling
While the potatoes are baking, cook the frozen vegetables according to the directions on the package. Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle. Using the cutting board and the sharp knife, chop any of the large cooked vegetables (peas and corn kernels can stay whole) and the ham, if using, into tiny pieces. Set aside.

Remove the potatoes
When the potatoes are ready, ask an adult to help you remove them from the oven, but leave the oven on. Set the potatoes aside until they are cool enough to handle.

Scoop out the flesh
When you can handle the potatoes comfortably, use both hands to gently squeeze the potatoes so that the white, fluffy potato flesh starts to burst out from the skin.

Using a spoon, scoop out the potato flesh, being careful not to poke through the skin on the bottom and sides. You should try to leave a wall of potato flesh about 1/4 inch thick, so that the skin wont break when you try to stuff it. Put the potato flesh in a bowl. Set the skins aside.

Mix the filling
Add the sour cream and milk to the bowl. Using the spoon, stir and mash the potato mixture until it is smooth.

Stir in the cooked vegetables, ham (if youre using it), and 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the spuds
Using the spoon, scoop the potato mixture back into the potato shells. Sprinkle each potato with a little of the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake again
Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet and put them back in the oven.

Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the potatoes are heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Fun Food, by Stephanie Rosenbaum (Simon & Schuster, 2006).