As much as I really don’t approve of using food as an emotional crutch there is nothing that will give you a hug from the inside quite like a jacket potato, preferably with cheese and baked beans. I went through a whole winter of being unhappy about my career on the strength of the jacket potato van at the front of the office; I put on a couple of pounds (double cheese, double butter, oh yeah) but I had a perpetual warm feeling in my stomach.
I can’t even put my finger on the best thing about the humble jacket potato. The crispy skin? The salty, oozy butter? The melting cheese? The sweet tomato sauce? There are SO MANY good bits, too many to choose from.
There does appear to be a limit to how many potatoes can be eaten in one week, however. My record is 4 (5 if you count one with a tuna topping but I’m a beans n’ cheese gal), but I’m guessing 1 is probably a much healthier option. Plus if you overdo them there’s always the risk of jacket potato burnout. So to save my health I like to come up with different ways to warm my cockles.
These loaded skins are one of those ways. It’s a recipe I came up with in the middle of our chilly and rainy summer when I’d had one too many jacket potatoes and couldn’t look another baked bean in the eye. It’s crispy, cheesy and salty yet a bit lighter than your more traditional baked potato. I serve them with a quick homemade guacamole (1 mashed avocado, salt, pepper, lime, olive oil) and pretend they’re healthy: just ignore the mountain of soured cream.
- 1 Baking Potato
- 2 Rashers Smoked bacon
- Good handful of cheese (approx 25g), I like Double Gloucester
- Dessert spoon full sour cream
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Guacamole and soured cream, to serve
- Pre-heat your oven to hot, about 230 degrees C.
- Cook the potatoes whole in the microwave until just cooked, about 4 minutes on each side.
- Take them out and slice them in half. When cooled slightly scoop out the insides and pop in a large bowl. Add to this 2 rashers of chopped fried bacon, the cheese, a dessert spoon ful of sour cream and salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, brush the potato skins with Olive Oil and salt and place them curved-side up on to a baking tray to crisp up. Cook for about 7 minutes.
- Take the skins out the oven and turn over. Fill with the topping.
- Pop in the oven for another 7-10 minutes, until heated through and the cheese is melted.
- Dip liberally in guacamole and soured cream.