Ok, so I know that we did Twice Baked Potatoes last week, but potatoes are a great multipurpose staple, and, if you shop on a budget like us, you are likely to buy them in 5-10 pound bags. Potatoes keep for a while, but not indefinitely, so it’s smart to plan a few meals around them. This week we made up a batch of baked potatoes. Need a quick recipe? Here goes:
1. Wash them
2. Oil them (rub them in some olive oil)
3. Poke them (3 or 4 time with a fork)
4. Salt them
5. Bake them (350 right on the rack for 1 1/2 hours or until they squeeze easily)
Easy, right? Once they are baked, the sky’s the limit as far as toppings go. If you want a side or a light meal, simple butter and sour cream can be nice. If you are looking to make it a full, hearty meal, you can use the basic potato as a vehicle for some of your leftovers. Here we have a potato with broccoli and cheese sauce (recipe follows) and another with some leftover Chili Soup, the same cheese sauce, and sour cream. One of the great things about this is that, since we had the oven on anyway, we just baked up about 10 potatoes. We had whatever we were having for dinner, leaving plenty of easy to microwave potatoes for quick lunches later in the week.
This sauce starts with a bechamel (one of the French “mother sauces” that so many other sauces are based off of). Learning to make this sauce gives you some basic techniques that you can use for future dishes. This is the same cheese sauce you would use for Mac & Cheese! If you find it to be a little thick, add more milk. Not cheesy enough…well, you know what to do!
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes or until paste cooks a bit, but is not browning (this part is making a roux and takes some practice to get just right!).
Add milk, stirring constantly and bringing it to a boil. Lower heat, add salt and pepper, and let cook for 2-3 more minutes. (Stop here for a bechamel, continue for cheese sauce)
Add cheese and melt thoroughly. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat.
We hope that you enjoy! Let us know how it turns out!
Have a Meatless Monday experience, recipe, or request? Leave us a comment and let us know what you’re up to!
Meatless Monday, a national nonprofit public health initiative, is all about incorporating more vegetables and less meat into our diet. It’s about moderation, just one day a week, cutting down on meats high in saturated fat and increasing protein-rich plant-based foods — good for personal health and good for the planet.