Potatoes in a Pinch for Busy Day Meals

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

We’re getting to that time of year when there’s more to do in the kitchen—baking cookies, making potluck dishes for parties, and hosting or contributing to family celebrations.

So I’d like to propose a simple meal idea when you’re too busy to cook: micro-baking potatoes to use as the basis for quick family meals. Once cooked, you can split the potato and top with leftover chili or spaghetti sauce and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Serve with a green salad and you’re good to go!

If you have a little more time, make these Spicy Curry Potato Boats. They’re fairly quick to fix and you’ll love the Indian-inspired flavors. The recipe may look complicated, but really, all you do is microwave potatoes, scoop out the insides, make a simple stuffing, stuff the potatoes and bake to heat through.

Don’t forget the chutney on the side—it balances the spice with sweetness.

Spicy Curry Potato Boats
4 russet potatoes (about 6 ½ ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
¼ cup chopped onion
1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes, diced and the juices,
1 can (15.5 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ to 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Mango chutney

Scrub potatoes, prick in several places with a fork and arrange spoke fashion in microwave oven. Microwave until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife (time depends on power of your oven; mine took 10 minutes). When potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve them lengthwise and scoop out the centers, leaving a ½-inch border of potato flesh to make sturdy “boats.” Chop flesh coarsely and set aside.

Heat oven to 400⁰F.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, turmeric and cayenne; cook, stirring about a half minute until spices are fragrant. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion has softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes including the juices, garbanzo beans, reserved potato flesh, cilantro and ½ teaspoon lemon juice; cook about 5 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if desired.

Place potato boats in baking dish; stuff with tomato-garbaznzo filling, dividing evenly. Cover with foil and bake about 15 minutes or until potatoes are hot.

Serve potatoes, two halves per serving, and pass the mango chutney.

Makes 4 servings.

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Posted: Nov 6th by Sandy_Hu