Honestly, there cannot be a lonelier feeling in the world than being the only football fan in the house. I've been slinking around corners all day trying not to look as though I'm doing nothing but watching football playoffs. Oh sure, I have that fake basket of laundry that I'm carrying all around and folding in front of the television whenever it's 2nd and goal. The Windex and my dusting cloth are positioned right in front of me. And of course I have nfl.com minimized on my laptop screen at all times so I can check on my tickets that I bet secretly (because we're watching our money). But on the main screen, I have the banking website up and a pile of bills that I'm pretending to pay. I'm on an ice floe, floating aimlessly, likely to perish unless my Patriots get their win.
But when dinner time comes, it really stands out like a sore thumb that I've been remiss in my duties. Okay, I admit it. I didn't get any groceries today because my regular shopping time would have fallen smack dab in the middle of the Seattle/Atlanta game. So I hid behind the sofa peeking out at the TV for most of the afternoon. But I did take out steaks! And during the half time of the early game, I scrounged through the fridge and came up with a plan. Late night onion rings (recipe contained here in the blog) because onion rings go wonderfully with steak. Sauteed red peppers and also twice baked potatoes. Now baked potatoes are so delicious, and I could have left it at that, but I always like to be one up, so we'll take it up a notch! After spending the day being stealth and flying under the radar, I want it to be very obvious that somebody has clearly been cooking and preparing and planning all day long! Hahah so let's do this!
You'll need a potato for each person, and maybe one extra insurance potato because they're so delicious. And also you might drop and smash one on the kitchen floor such as I did after drinking beer all afternoon.
Wrap them individually in tin foil, pierce them with a fork to let the steam escape and bake them for one hour at 400 degrees.
For the filling, you can fry some chopped bacon or pancetta (about 5 slices of bacon) or you can cheat such as I did. I had leftovers from my lovely snack plate I made for myself for the early game, salami and prosciutto, so I chopped that up and fried it in a bit of olive oil just until crispy. You need about 1/2 cup of any grated cheese you like. The more flavourful the better. I used sharp cheddar today, but anything except mozzarella works fine. Also a couple of tablespoons of a chopped fresh herb. Choose one to compliment your cheese and meat. Eg - bacon, cheddar and chive. Today I used chopped rosemary.
1/4 cup of butter, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, a splash of milk or cream, freshly ground pepper and salt to season.
After the potatoes come out of the oven, use an oven mitt to hold in your hand (since they are very hot!) and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the potato of each one leaving just a 1/4 of an inch attached to the skin to give them enough strength to hold up. (like a boat.) Add all the potato into a mixing bowl and add all of the other ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer until everything is just blended together. Not too much. It's not a cake batter. Now scoop it all back into each of the hollowed out potatoes. Season them with salt and pepper and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on each one. Put them back into the oven on 350 for about 15 or 20 minutes. Voila! So amazing. And you can see how this recipe fit perfectly into my disappearing act because I did the prep and stuffed during the halftime and never missed a play! Enjoy friends!