Baked potatoes can be as simple or as fancy as you want them to be. This is what I have learned from Ginny’s recent spuds. I often want to get a loaded baked potato at a restaurant, but I’m not sure if it’s going to have everything I want. These potatoes had it all.
You can’t see it in this picture, but Ginny stuffed them first with a spicy seasoned turkey sausage and onion mixture that was incredible. I have come to appreciate well spiced turkey sausage and usually prefer it over its bovine cousin when it comes to ground meats. As you may have noticed if you read the blog often, I really like to do one pot or one item meals because they take less time to prepare. I try to get a good balance of protein and fats in my meals to prevent those midnight binges that inevitably come when I get hungry at night.
The first step was to bake the potatoes and remove most of the insides to make room for the good stuff.
Next, Ginny mixed the potato stuffing with a sour cream, half and half and salt and pepper. She stuffed it first with the turkey sausage mixture and put the potato stuffing on top, but you could reverse this and it would be equally as tasty. Bake it a little longer than what we did if you want the top stuffing to get a bit brown and crispy. Toppings included cherry tomatoes, avocado and cheese. These are a few of my favorite things. Bacon, cheese and sliced green onions would also be an excellent topping idea. Of course, bacon is always a good idea.
The last few weeks have been really challenging for Ginny and me. She had an ectopic pregnancy and had to go into emergency surgery last Wednesday to remove the embryo and one of her fallopian tubes. It all kind of hit us by surprise and I am eternally grateful that the doctors were so good and got it done without any complications. I reflected on all this and how important it was that we had access to good friends in the medical profession as well a family and friends who supported us so much during this arduous process. Fortunately, this operation does not decrease her ability to have children in the future significantly, but it was definitely a close call.
Back to the potatoes…we made a lot of these to have leftovers and I suppose they would freeze well, too. We used Colby Jack cheese for the toppings, but Cheddar or any similar cheese with a good flavor would work well.
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES COOK TIME: 75 MINUTES SERVINGS: 8
- 8 Russet potatoes
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup half and half
for the turkey sausage filling:
- olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 can green chilies
- 2.5 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp white pepper
- sea salt
- small pieces of Colby Jack cheese
- sliced cherry tomatoes
- slice avocado
- chopped cilantro
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes for 60 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and remove insides of potatoes with a spoon.
- As potatoes are baking, put olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook onions for a few minutes until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes or until turkey is cooked.
- Place potato filling in a large bowl and add sour cream, salt, pepper and half and half. Mix with hand mixer, adjusting sour cream and half and half as needed.
- Place a couple spoonfulls of turkey mixture in each potato followed by the potato mixture to cover well. Place loaded potato in oven and cook for 15 minutes. Add bits of cheese on top and then broil for about 2 minutes until brown. Remove from oven.
- Top with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes and cilantro. Enjoy!