Microwaving cooks the potatoes in a flash; briefly baking them at a high temperature once they're stuffed toasts the cheese topping.
4 (8-ounce) baking potatoes
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 500°.
Pierce the potatoes with a fork, and arrange in a circle on paper towels in microwave oven. Cover potatoes with damp paper towels. Microwave potatoes at high 12 minutes or until done, rearranging after 6 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes. Split open potatoes; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Reserve shells; set pulp aside.
Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add milk; bring to a simmer. Pour milk mixture over potato pulp. Add 1/4 cup cheese, ham, and remaining ingredients, mixing well. Stuff shells with potato mixture. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 500° for 8 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.
These are a nice light dinner or lunch (although I admit to adding more gruyere than the recipe called for). My eight-year-old son helped make dinner - to simplify a bit, I used garlic powder instead of fresh, and skipped heating the milk. It didn't seem to hurt at all. I used yukon gold potatoes because they were on sale - the flavor of the potato was nice. Served with vegetable soup and whole wheat rolls. Leftovers reheated nicely in the microwave. Would be a nice side dish to a fancier dinner, as well.
This recipe didn't work out for me. About 2 and a half minutes into microwaving the potatoes, I noticed that I hadn't covered them with damp paper towels, so I did at that point. When I tried to scoop out the potato from the skins, I found that the potatoes weren't cooked all the way through and the skins just fell apart. I ended up mashing them with the recommended milk mixture and the ham and cheese. I found the texture fairly dry and the flavor a bit bland.
These were really good. On one of the potatoes I added cooked broccoli to make it more of a well-rounded meal. I used more cheese by mistake, so that might be another reason for my high rating. I'll make these again.
Very filling, I added sauteed mushrooms and leeks I had left over from another recipe. I found I needed more liquid than called for, but I used Idaho baking potatoes and they tend to be lower moisture. The ham and cheese tasted a little bland when I was mixing so I added some red pepper and this perked up the flavor. This is a great base recipe you could modify over and over to suit whatever leftovers you need to use.
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