How do you like to eat potatoes? Do you prefer to bake them, roast them... or like our dear, old, adamant Samwise Gamgee, do you "Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew!"?
Well, if you just can't decide, we have good news for you today - you can have them baked and mashed at the same time! How exciting is that? Of course, it causes a bit of an identity crisis for the poor potato, but I personally think that is the potato's lot in life... after all, is it a vegetable, a root, or a starch? Are they native to the Andes Mountains or from the west coast of Chile, or are you like me and always just thought they came from Ireland? Potato, potahto, patata? Well anyway, you can find them in the "vegetable" section of the BCC...
Twice-Baked Potatoes (from p. 436 of the BCC): The recipe is for four large potatoes. First you scoop out the inside of a potato shell and mash it, make it nice and fluffy with some milk and butter, season it with a little salt and pepper (Mom used garlic salt - mmm!), and then refill the shells. The BCC says to sprinkle shredded cheese on top "if desired," and well, when does the Chandler family not desire a little extra cheese? Then you bake them until the mashed filling is golden brown. And tada! - you have baked mashed potatoes.
We thought they turned out very pretty, they were fun to eat, and they were delicious! We ate them with barbequed pork chops and homegrown green beans, which was an excellent meal. The BCC had a variation to the recipe that added chopped green peppers or chopped pimiento to the mix. Not sure I'd do either of those, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that you can probably add whatever you normally like to add to your baked or mashed potatoes though... chives, bacon, or if you are like my Grandpa Jack, enough black pepper to make the whole dinner party sneeze. But hey, the potato is one of America's favorite foods, so go crazy!