With the low-carb, paleo, Atkins movement, potatoes are no longer the food staple they used to be, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t love them in moderation. After all who could say no to twice baked potatoes. They’ll always be a comforting presence at any dinner. However, to get them on the table for a weeknight dinner might take more time than most of us have unless you use my little shortcut. My version is more “first microwave, second bake potatoes.” It’s a small cheat, but the result is just as good and saves you a whole lot of time.
I start by halving the potatoes (typically russets), and then scoring the flesh (basically carving a grid). Place them in a microwave-safe container with about 2 tbs. of water, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 5 to 10 minutes. That softens the flesh enough to be scooped out and then mashed up into a filling that then gets baked in the oven. I love mashing them with a few dollops of plain yogurt for just a bit of tang and then some chopped green onions for some sharpness. That provides so much flavor you can even skip the cheese, but remember to treat yourself every so often.
See our trick in this video:
- Russet potatoes, halved – 2
- Plain yogurt, any type – ¼ cup
- Green onions, green parts sliced – 1 stalk
- Mexican cheese blend – 2 oz. (buy pre-grated or blocks of Jack, cheddar, colby and grate)
- Potatoes – Halve and then score potatoes by using a paring knife to mark a grid in the potatoes (this is called scoring). Go as deep as you can without cutting through the skin. This will help the potato cook more quickly. Place them in a microwave safe dish. Add 2 tbs. of water, cover with a damp towel, and microwave for 8 to 10 minutes, until the inside is soft enough to scoop out (See video)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Scoop filling out of the potatoes into a bowl. Use a kitchen towel or oven mitt if potatoes are hot still. Mash with yogurt, the chopped green onions, and a generous dash of salt
- Place on a foil lined sheet pan, cover with cheese, and bake for 15 minutes
- For a fancier take, use creme fraiche and chives instead of yogurt and green onions
- Make it into a full meal. Cover with ground meat cooked in tomato sauce and then cover in cheese