What’s so special about potato?
Potato is an important staple food and the number one vegetable crop in the world. Potatoes are available year-round as they are harvested somewhere every month of the year.
The potato belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos. They are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant. If allowed to flower and fruit, the potato plant will bear an inedible fruit resembling a tomato.
Although potato is a humble, lumpy, bland, familiar and unglamorous staple but I love cooking as well as eating it. It brings satiety and I love the fluffy taste of potato. Could be that is why potato is considered as comfort food.
How is it that such a humble little vegetable can make me so excited about?
A few weeks ago I learned a potato recipe from one of the Asian Food Channel programs named ‘Chef at Home’. This recipe makes potatoes that are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the inside. The name of the dish is Stuff Baked Potato. What I really like about Michael Smith (the Chef of this program) is that he encourages his viewers to improvise.
I really agree with what he said: “A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!”
Following what Michael Smith said, I tried the recipe, stirring down my own idea into this dish and …………love the result.
Here is my version and name of the dish – ‘Potato Inside Out ‘
- 8 potatoes
- 4 slices of bacon, fry until crispy, cut into small pieces
- 4 green onions, sliced thinly
- 50 gram of Cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Steam the potatoes for around 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Let them cool.
- Slice the top, lengthwise, off of each potato
- Scoop out the flesh
The original recipe is to bake the potatoes before they are scooped instead of steam them. You may choose whichever you like. I prefer to steam coz it’s easier to scoop 🙂
- Add the grated cheese, fried bacon, green onion, salt and pepper to the potato flesh. Mash well and then stuff back into potato shells. You can even carve a face on this stuff potato as you can see on this picture
- Place on a baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through.
And these are the results……..so yummy