As a kid I ate several baked potatoes a week because my mother believed they were the perfect food. I still have a great fondness for them and when I visited a Potato Valley Cafe where they served baked potatoes with many different fillings I knew I had to revitalize my potato repertoire. My favorite is this ham and cheddar version and we frequently have it for dinner. I serve the various fillings in bowls and let people load their own potatoes. Serves 4.
4 very large baking potatoes
1 teaspoon or so vegetable or olive oil or potatoes
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil for frying
1 small red bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 small onion chopped
1 10 oz bag broccoli florets, thawed and coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped ham
2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
1. Rub the washed and dried potatoes with oil, pierce with a fork, and bake for one hour ten minutes at 450 F.
2. About 20 minutes before the potatoes are done, fry the red bell pepper and onion in butter or vegetable oil. Add the broccoli and cook until the broccoli is hot but not over cooked (about 5 minutes).
3. Serve the vegetables, ham, cheese, and sour cream in individual bowls.
4. Cut each potato in half and serve on individual plates.
My family members enjoy choosing their own fillings and adding more as they eat their way through the potato. Each person tailors the fillings to suit his/her taste and appetite. The amount of sides you prepare can be altered to meet the needs and wants of the diners.