The idea of broccoli cheddar stuffed potatoes may not be new to you but this recipe serves as a reminder of how something so simple can be so satisfying and so cost effective! These puppies can take a while to cook but fear not, you can take care of other business while they slowly bake to perfection!
Bangin’ Broccoli Cheddar Potatoes
|1/2 of 14.5 oz. pkg||frozen broccoli florets||$0.64|
|1.25 cups||shredded cheddar cheese||$1.11|
|1/2 cup||sour light sour cream||$0.25|
|5 cranks||fresh cracked pepper||nada|
STEP 1: Thoroughly wash the potatoes and prick the skins with a fork. If you do not prick the skins, the moisture inside of the potato will cause the skins to burst as it heats and expands. Place the potatoes directly on the rack of a preheated 425 degree oven. Bake for 60 minutes. Feel free to go do whatever it is you need to do during this time!
STEP 2: Once the potatoes have finished cooking, let them sit and cool slightly (about 10 minutes). While the potatoes are cooling, cook the frozen broccoli according to the package instructions (either microwave or stove top). Cook the broccoli only until it is still slightly crisp and bright green. The broccoli will cook further after the potatoes are stuffed and returned to the oven. Over cooking the broccoli now will yield brown-ish mushy broccoli pieces in the finished potatoes; not very appetizing! Drain off any liquid that has accumulated while the broccoli cooked and give it a rough chop so you don’t have any HUGE broccoli chunks and it can be evenly distributed in the potato/cheese mixture.
STEP 3: Cut each potato in half length wise so that the flatter sides of the potatoes will be facing down after they are stuffed. Gently scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a medium mixing bowl, leaving some flesh attached to the skin. If you scoop all of the flesh away, the paper-thin skin will not be strong enough to hold its shape. If you find at this step that your potatoes did not cook all the way through (as I did, stupid old shabby oven…) simply scoop out the slightly hard flesh, put it in the bowl and microwave one minute at a time until it is soft enough to mash.
STEP 4: Add the butter, sour cream, 1 cup of cheese, broccoli, salt and pepper to the bowl of baked potato flesh. Mix well. Spoon the contents back into the potato skin “boats” and sprinkle just a tad more cheese over top of each (only about 1/4 cup for all 8 halves). There is already so much cheese in the mixture that you don’t want to add an enormous amount now, just a bit for garnish.
STEP 5: Bake the stuffed potatoes at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly brown (about 20-30 min.). Remove from the oven and dive into their ooey gooey goodness!
These potatoes freeze really well so if you are cooking just for yourself (as I am) and you don’t think you will make it through 8 of them in a week (yeah, right!) just wait till they cool, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap then foil and place them all in a big ziplock freezer bag. Then, you can take one out at a time, unwrap it and simply microwave it till it’s hot and steamy!! YUM!
NOTE: I bought these potatoes from the supermarket on a day when I did not have time to go to the produce market. I have a good feeling that four potatoes would not have cost me over $4 at the produce stand so… I’m sure you could make this recipe for a whole lot less if you tried! I challenge you! post your results…