Bacon basil stuffed jacketsJune 16, 2014
You really can't beat a baked potato if it's done well. That means giving it some oven time. Though sticking a potato in the microwave for 10 minutes will provide you with a decent, hot base for a meal, jackets truly come into their own when they are truly baked.
The microwave gets the cooking started but you should give your tatty at least 20-30 minutes in an oven to crisp it up and make the inside super fluffy and rich.
Potatoes are also super cheap so beefed up with a couple of pantry staples and a little bit of fresh stuff they make an excellent budget friendly meal.
Ingredients: Per potato (these are pretty filling, we ended up sharing one with a salad for dinner)
1 large baking potato- I've used white skin, russet and red skin potatoes and they've all been delicious
3 strips of bacon (Brits use streaky or 2 rashers of normal bacon)
A couple of drizzles of olive oil
1/2 tablespoon ricotta
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
Microwave your potato for 6-8 minutes depending on it's size. You want it to be tender but not completely squashy.
Whilst the microwave is microwaving, finely chop the bacon and fry until crisp. I find frying it on a lower heat for longer makes it most flavourful. When your bacon is lovely and crisp, leave it to drain on some paper towel.
When the potato is done, smother a little oil, salt and pepper over the skin of the potato- this will help it crisp up really nicely and bring out it's natural deliciousness.
Slice the potato in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh leaving a wall of potato attached to the skin that's about 1/2 inch or 1 cm thick.
Put your bacon, potato scoopings, ricotta, half the parmesan, a drizzle of oil and basil into a bowl and mix. Try not to create too much of a smooth paste, chop the ingredients together so you retain some texture but the bacon, ricotta and basil is distributed throughout the potato.
Pile the mixture into the potato shells and sprinkle over the remaining parmesan, return them to the oven for about 20 minutes at 350F until the skins are dark brown and crispy and the parmesan has melted into a golden crust atop the stuffed shell.
Serve up with a salad with lots of lovely fresh tomatoes to go with the rich basil and olive oil flavours of the potato.
Another great filling for baked potatoes is Quick Hob Beans!