When is the last time you thought about a twice baked potato? Ages, right?
Benjamin and I relied on baked potatoes (cooked in the microwave) over the winter for a last-ditch fast-food items on our in-house menu. So, it wasn’t a huge leap, I suppose, when I had a Slow Food potluck to attend last week.
I have a love-hate relationship with potlucks. Joining with others around the table: love. Sharing food: love. Preparing food items that need to be transported and remain appetizing for hours: do not love.
There is a very good reason marshmallow jello molds, salads and deviled eggs are standards, though nowadays a bag of chips is a common contribution.
I prefer to bring a main dish, just in case there’s one too many salad or dessert, and it was just at the moment that I was wracking my brain, I spied the hefty russets in my pantry.
Baked or microwave, scooped and blended with cheese and any manner of vegetables and reheated, you simply cannot go wrong. (They’re perfect for using up leftovers.) I stuffed these with sauteed kale and goat cheese, sprinkled parmesan on top and felt like a winner.
Inexpensive, crowd-pleasing and easy, these potluck potatoes even stayed warm until it was time to eat: Love.
Kale and Goat Cheese Twice-Baked Potatoes
Besides potlucks, this is a candidate for a hearty Meatless Monday. Or, serve it as a traditional side dish with Sunday's roast chicken. The microwave methods takes 25 minutes to make and bake.
- 2 russet potatoes, well scrubbed and pierced with a fork in 3-4 places organic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for potatoes
- 1 bunch kale, washed and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Fine sea salt to taste
- Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Bake the potatoes on a rack in a 350°F oven until you can pierce them with a fork, about 1 hour. Or, microwave them on the manufacturer's potato setting. (Note that the setting is for a single potato, so you may need to rotate the potatoes and reset until you can pierce them easily with a fork.) Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until it wilts. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper flakes, if using and continue cooking until it is very tender, about 6 minutes.
Slice the still-warm potatoes in half through their widest part and use a tablespoon to scoop out the flesh into a bowl, trying to keep the skins in tact as best you can. Arrange the potato skins in a small baking dish.
For the creamiest potatoes use a ricer or food mill to mash the potatoes. Otherwise, a hand masher or fork works fine. Blend in the goat cheese and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to make a smooth consistency. Taste the potatoes for salt. Stir in the kale until it is mixed in well.
Holding a potato skin in your hand, scoop a generous mound of the mashed potato mixture into the skin. Repeat with the remaining potato skins. (You can prepare them up to this point in advance and refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the potato tops with the parmesan and bake them until they are heated through and the cheese melts, about 10 minutes, or hold them covered in a warm oven for up to 3 hours. (If previously refrigerated, they'll need at least 30 minutes to reheat.)