As I’ve been putting together my list of potential dishes for this project, I’ve had a few criteria in mind. The main ones though are whether I’ve made this particular thing before and whether it’s likely to be delicious. I’ve always liked twice-baked potatoes when I’ve come across them, but when I’ve baked potatoes at home, once has always seem perfectly sufficient. I had printed this recipe from Smitten Kitchen though, and I thought it was worth a shot.
I inadvertently deviated quite a lot from her version though, since I sort of glanced at the recipe, assumed I knew what was going on, and didn’t look at it again until the end when I said, oh, wait, I wasn’t supposed to put the potato innards back in?
(No, I wasn’t supposed to put the potato innards back in.)
I think I liked my version more than I would have liked Deb’s, which seems to make something closer to little sausage meatloaves baked in potatoes, anyway. This way the sausage ended up flavoring all of the potato mixture, even though I used less them she called for. It was ridiculously easy and filling and inexpensive and delicious. I started with two russet potatoes, which I baked in the oven, since we don’t have a microwave. Then I halved them lengthwise and scooped out the insides.
While they were baking, I’d taken a hot Italian sausage, about 5 oz., removed it from the casing, and browned it. I added a chopped onion to the pan and cooked that along with it. That mixture went into a bowl with some mustard and tomato paste, then the potato innards. It was a pretty dry mixture, so I added a dollop of sour cream and enough milk to make it creamy. I refilled the potato skins, sprinkled parmesan on top, and put them back in the oven to heat through.
I think it’s safe to say that this will be going into the rotation of cold-weather dishes. There’s endless room to play around with the filling too; any bits and bobs of leftovers would play nicely here, I think. And if I got my act together and baked several potatoes ahead of time, it would even be a really quick meal.