Friday, 24 May 2013

Cheesy twice baked potatoes

The humble baked potato is one of my favourite things. However as one of my favourite things I am inevitably going to be picky about how it needs to be.  Crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Nothing else is worth bothering with. Those huge things with a soft skin piled with beans and cheese for a pub lunch may fill a hole cheaply but as far as I am concerned they just don't cut it.

It's all about the skin for me. I have never ever understood those people who eat the potato and LEAVE THE SKIN! I want to shout "The skin is the best bit you fool!". It is it really, really is. Yes I could go on about how all the nutrition is in the skin but that's nothing to do with it. The skin just tastes better than any other part, why would you not want to eat it?

These cheesy potatoes are barely a recipe as far as I'm concerned. They are just one of those things my mum made and I picked up. Apparently she learnt how to make them in Home Economics at school.


Baking potatoes - pick a good sized one per person or a few smaller ones so you can have seconds
Grated cheese - A good strong extra mature cheddar.
Salt and pepper


1.Turn your oven up full blast and bake your potatoes for at least an hour - hour and half until they have a good strong crunchy skin. Do not be tempted to 'get things going' by putting them in the microwave for a bit. They won't taste as good and the skin won't be tough enough for the next stage.

Top Tip: Before putting the potatoes in the oven score them around the middle with a knife. Just once round and don't cut too deep. This makes them a lot easier to cut in half when cooked.

2. When skins are gloriously crunchy take them out of the oven and cut them in half. Quickly scoop out the flesh and put in a bowl with the grated cheese and seasoning. Mash the mix together until nice and smooth before putting the potato back in the skins.

3. Sprinkle the potatoes with a little cheese on top, put them in a backing tray and pop them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese on top is melted.

These are particularly good with leftover cold meats, a crisp salad and chutneys. (My Dad says every Boxing Day that this is his favorite Christmas food!)

While pretty darn good like this I have successfully jazzed them up in the past with the addition of fried onions and a bit of leftover bacon.

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