Thursday, February 18, 2010

Twice Baked and Stuffed

Looks good, doesn't it? What's not to love about a stuffed potato?

Bought this huge bag of potatoes at Produce Junction for about $2 the other day, thinking I could make a meal of them for my Feed the Hungry Edition - and learned a mean little lesson: it's really hard to feed your family for $5 unless you are buying each of them a .99 cent burger from McDonalds.

Still, I spent a lot less than $25 on this meal - but only if you consider the fact that I had to spend almost $25 to get there. In other words, I got about 15 small potatoes for $2, I spent $1.99 on a 16 oz thingy of sour cream and and a pound of butter cost $3. My quart of milk also cost $3. I spent $1.66 on a tiny amount of turkey and almost $5 on a pound of turkey bacon. A block of cheddar was also about $3 and as was a bag of frozen green beans. Even though I only used bits of these ingredients, saving the rest for another meal (or two) - still: what if I ONLY HAD five dollars in my pocket? And that's kind of the point, isn't it? I have enough money to make a nutritious meal because I have enough money to buy the ingredients to begin with. I didn't even factor in the salt and pepper and grapeseed oil because, since I have them at home all the time I forgot to write down their price when at the store.
So, my four stuffed potatoes plus 1/2 a bag of frozen green beans cost about $9 to make, which meant that we put $16 in our Feed The Hungry Jar.

Stuffed Potatoes (and frozen green beans - I think you all know how to cook the beans - so I'm not going to tell you...)

4 (or 5 baking potatoes, if the potatoes a small and meager looking)
1 piece of turkey bacon cut into small pieces (* see note below)
1TBLSP grapeseed oil, just enough to lightly coat the skillet
1/4 lb (more or less) ground dark meat turkey
1 cup of sour cream (if you like 'em tangy, which we do, or use less of this and more milk)
1/2 cup of milk
2 TBLSP butter
1/2 cup of mild cheddar cheese divided

Heat your oven to 450 then throw in your washed and pierced potatoes. (I use the toaster oven to cook potatoes because a)I'm generally to lazy to preheat and b) it uses a lot less energy.)

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet (or any fry pan) and cook up the bacon until it's crisp. Take it out and saute the ground turkey in the same skillet. When the turkey is almost cooked through, take it off the heat, mix the bacon back in and set aside.

When the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven and cut them open so they lie flat. Scoop out the insides and put in a bowl (if you used 5 potatoes, save the 5th potato skin for later, but add the insides to the bowl). Add the sour cream, milk, butter and 1/4 cup of cheddar. Then mix in the turkey. Salt and pepper it to taste. Set your potato skins out on a cookie sheet and carefully (I know Nigella Lawson would say, lovingly, here) return your potato mixture to the skins. Sprinkle each potato with some cheddar, and return it all to the oven. Bake about 15 minutes until completely warmed through and the cheese on the top has gotten melty and maybe a little brown in spots.


** Note: I use the turkey bacon because I find ground turkey to be a little insipid and the bacon boosts the flavor. You certainly could leave it out, just make sure to salt and pepper the turkey while you brown it.

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