Quick Lunch: My Loaded Potato Skin Recipe

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Looking after a baby is hard work. The main issue I find is finding the time to eat. So I’ve had to find foods which are quick and easy to prepare, and can be eaten one-handed! My best food for this so far has been loaded potato skins. Basically jacket potatoes, twice-cooked with a cheese and chive filling… You can make up a batch in advance, freeze them, then chuck in the oven for 20mins when you want them again and hey presto! Easy one-handed and tasty meals!

This recipe should make between 20-30 skins depending on how many potatoes you get in your bag!

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Ingredients:

2.5KG of Baking Potatoes
Soured Cream
Monterey Jack Cheese
Fresh Chives
Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat your oven to 160c (fan-assisted)skins7

Partially-cook your potatoes in the microwave, I usually do 10mins for 3 medium-sized potatoes – Ensure you prick them with a knife first so that they don’t explode!

Once done, coat all of the potatoes in a thin layer of oil (either coconut or olive), and place directly on the oven shelf in the center of the oven. I find it easier to take out the shelf and load my potatoes on, then put it back once they are all in place!skins5

Cook for approximately 1hr, or until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside – too soft and they will fall apart when emptying the center

Once cooked, place the potatoes on a rack, and leave to cool

Once your potatoes have completely cooled, cut them in half length-ways, and using askins4 spoon, scoop out the center of the potato leaving a
5mm layer in the skin (to hold it in place!)

Empty your soured cream and monterey jack cheese into a large mixing bowl. Chop your
chives into small pieces, approx 3-4mm long and add these to the bowl. Add some salt & pepper to your taste, and mix all together with a wooden spoon until the soured cream is well and truly blended in

Add the scooped potato into your mixing bowl, and using a potato masher, mash it all skins3up until it is nicely blended. You could use a blender for this, but I personally prefer the crunchy texture you get by doing it by hand… You don’t need it to be smooth in consistency – just well mixed so that all of the potato is coated in the cream & cheese mixture

Holding a skin in one-hand, use your spoon to push the potato mixture back into the skin, and smooth it over with the back of the spoon. Don’t worry about it being flat, slightly more in there is better! Just make sure the mixture is “packed” into the skin well, otherwise it will fall out when movingskins2

Once complete, you can either re-cook to eat, or freeze… To freeze, first you need to flash-freeze them, so put them in the freezer on a tray, without touching each other for about 30 60mins until they are almost frozen. This will prevent the skins from sticking together when freezing. Once this process has completed, you can bag them up and freeze fully

To re-cook, place them in a preheated oven at 170c for approx 20-30mins depending on how crispy you like them 🙂

These are a firm favourite snack/lunch in my household – Hopefully they will be the same for you!

Wild Mushroom Lasagne

I haven’t posted for a bit due to work commitments and other stuff, so thought I’d start by adding another recipe to my blog…

So today’s recipe is a Wild Mushroom Lasagne. Unfortunately I cheated on the sauce and bought Dolmio’s, but that’s only because I find it takes less time to use a pre-made sauce!

Pics below of the ingredients inside, and the finished product!

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So here we go…

Ingredients:

100g Chestnut Mushrooms
200g Supersweet Mixed Peppers (I used Chiquino Peppers)
150g Exotic Mushrooms (I used a mix of Oyster, Shitake and Porchino for the colours)
500g Jar of Dolmio Light “White” Sauce for Lasagne
500g Jar of Dolmio Light “Red” Sauce for Lasagne
50g Mature Cheddar Cheese
1x Pack of Lasagne Sheets
[you will also need a large rectangular oven dish to bake it in – I use an Ikea glass dish, as it’s easier to see the food cooking inside!)

Optional – 1X 36g Schwartz Lasagne Mix
Paprika to decorate

This recipe should make about 6 decent-sized servings.

Method:

– Pre-heat the oven to about 180*C (fan-assisted)
– Chop up all of the mushrooms into thin slices, and place into a deep frying pan with about ½ cm of water in the pan
– Put a lid on the pan and leave on medium heat, stirring carefully and occasionally until softened. add a little more water if the mushrooms begin to fry – boiling them retains the “softer” texture and flavour
– Whilst the mushrooms are cooking, first grate the cheese and put to one side, then empty the jar of red sauce into a large mixing bowl, and if you’re using it, add the sachet of lasagne seasoning and mix together
– Once the mushrooms are cooked, drain off any remaining liquid (you could pour this into the empty red sauce jar to get out any remaining sauce!), and mix in with the sauce mixture
– Pour a 1/3 of the mixture into the bottom of your oven-dish, and spread out with the back of your spoon until flat and even
– Gently lay your lasagne sheets across the top of the mixture, breaking to side if required. if you are breaking them to fit, try to only break them in one direction, so that you once cooked, you can cut along the lines evenly and it won’t fall apart!
– Once your layer of sheets are down, pour about a ½-1 cm layer of white sauce over the top and spread evenly
– Repeat the last three steps again, you should now have used all of your mushroom mixture, so on the third and final layer, rather than putting mushrooms on top of your white sauce, sprinkle the grated cheese all over
– If you like, you can sprinkle a dusting of paprika over the top for flavour and decoration
– Place in the middle of the oven for approximately 30-40minutes, until the cheese is a light golden brown. You can check if its cooked through by placing a knife through the middle, and if you meet no resistance from the pasta sheets, then it’s cooked
– Once cooked, remove from oven, and serve immediately
– Once completely cooled, this dish can also be frozen. I usually make a large tray of it, and cut it up once cooled and freeze for another time!Obviously you can swap and change the ingredients to suit what you like, but this is a good vegetable alternative dish if you fancy a change!