Friday, November 21, 2008

Ranch-Style Stuffed Potatoes

Ranch-Style Stuffed Potatoes
Grading scale: A

These are an AWESOME variety to the everyday potato, although they do take quite a bit more work, but they are sure to IMPRESS.

4 large potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
1/2 cup ranch-style salad dressing
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Pierce the skin of the potatoes with a fork.
Microwave pierced potatoes on HIGH for 12 minutes. Place partially baked potatoes in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Slice off potato tops, scoop out the bulk of the interior of the potato being careful to leave the potato skins intact. In a medium bowl, mash the removed potato interior.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat, stir in butter. Saute onions in the skillet until tender, about 5 minutes.
Combine onions, broccoli, and ranch dressing with the mashed potato. Brush the outside of the potato skins with oil. Spoon potato mixture into the skins. Arrange stuffed potatoes on a cookie sheet.
Bake potatoes for 15 minutes in the preheated 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) oven, or until heated through. Season with salt, pepper, and parsley.

While we are on the subject of potatoes. I would really like to impart some advice to those of you, like me, who never really did a lot of cooking until they moved out of their parent's house. I constantly find myself searching through the internet on a lot of different topics related to cooking. Like what is al dente? How do you use the broiler? Do I need a broiler pan? How do you cook fish? How do you cook potatoes? So here is my advice on potatoes (to save you the searching).

You can bake a potato that is covered in aluminum foil or just right on the oven rack.

You can either bake it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or at 350 for an hour (times relative to size of potato, but mostly I make small-to-medium potatoes).

A good way to make an awesome baked potato without much hassle is to:
1. Clean potato.
2. Pierce a couple of times with a fork.
3. Roll potato in Sesame oil mixed with a little Olive Oil. Salt and Pepper to taste.
4. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in oven. (Seam side up! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! The Sesame oil can start a fire in your oven if it drips down to the bottom. You can even put the wrapped potatoes in a baking pan)

The above idea was given to me by my friend Missy.

I have another awesome potato recipe (similar to potato salad) from Romania coming up soon.

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