Stuffed Potatoes.


A wartime recipe taught to my mother in her early years of Secondary School at High Storrs School in Sheffield. It’s a superb meal for a cold, crisp winter day, especially after a good long walk.


The advent of Microwave Ovens and Freezers means that this is a dish which can be prepared in bulk, and then individual potatoes can be defrosted and microwaved hot in just 5 or 10 minutes for a real fast food lunch.


The flavour and texture is greatly superior if good quality Red potatoes are used, such as Desiree (in my opinion the best for this recipe), Mozart or King Edward.


The recipe is presented here as it was taught in 1940. It’s excellent just as it is, However, do experiment. For example, if you like to eat the potato skins try rubbing them with a little salt and olive oil before baking, for a lovely crunchy skin. Also experiment with seasoning: dried herbs work excellently well instead of fresh parsley, and alternative herbs work well too: Dill is brilliant for example. You can also use a teaspoon of whole-grain mustard instead of the herbs for a tangy alternative.



Ingredients:


1 large potato per person

Approx 4oz extra mature cheddar cheese per person (adjust to taste)

Approx ½ oz butter per person

About 2 tablespoons of washed fresh parsley leaves per person (no need to chop)

Seasoning - salt and pepper


Method:


Scrub any soil off the potatoes and place directly onto the top shelf of the oven. Bake at gas mark 9 until they have crispy skins but the middles are fully cooked (as you would for any old baked potato recipe) – probably about an hour for an average potato.


Whilst the potatoes are baking place the remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl.


When the potatoes are cooked through take each one and cut off a “lid” with a sharp vegetable knife and scoop out the flesh, with a spoon, adding it to the other ingredients in the mixing bowl. (Unless you are doing a huge batch for freezing you should add the flesh of all potatoes at once.)


Using a good strong fork combine the potato flesh and other ingredients until they form a smooth ball which leaves the sides of the bowl clean.


Using the spoon pack the filling back into the potato skins and then pop the matching “lid” back on each one.


Place the potatoes onto an ovenproof dish or baking tray and return to the oven for about 15 minutes. Serve at once.


If you are making a batch to freeze and re-heat later they should be left to cool rather than returning to the oven and then either wrapped in foil or packed into plastic freezer tubs and frozen on the same day.