I’m looking for something hearty that I can serve my family on a weeknight when the weather turns cold. Oh, and some like meat, some don’t so it needs to be flexible enough to accommodate different tastes. We all like potatoes, mostly French fries and mashed potatoes from our favorite restaurants. Any suggestions?A:
Baked Idaho Russet potatoes are the answer. When it’s too busy to shop, just keep canned chili or vegetables that can be added to chili to make a hearty topping for a baked potato. Examples are sliced or whole black olives or corn. Non meat toppings could include cottage cheese, salsa, etc. A stop by the deli for pre-cooked chicken breasts or shredded pork or beef, even carnitas make a nice variation. There is a good chance that your non-meat eaters would love a fresh vegetable mix available in the bagged salads are, of cauliflower and broccoli. You could even oven roast carrots, Brussel sprouts, red pepper with a little olive oil and butter in a sheet pan for thirty minutes next to the potatoes that have been washed and placed directly on the oven racks for about 1 hour at 400° F.
Keep pre-shredded cheeses for topping additions such as Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack for the Chili, Parmesan to top the roasted vegetables as they come out of the oven. And, plain baked potatoes can’t be topped for filling dinner sides with a dollop of sour cream and butter. Let’s get cooking!