Fancy enough for company, these baked potatoes look like you fussed but are really simple to fix. Our home economists sliced each one into a fan, covering them with cheese, bacon and savory seasonings. (For a quick how-to on creating potato fans, turn to page 50.)
"Adding ham to these veggie-topped potatoes makes them a complete meal-in-one," says Barbara Schindler from her home in Napoleon, Ohio. With plenty of cheese and a tasty sauce, too, they're sure to satisfy even the biggest appetites at dinnertime.
"I downsized the original recipe for this spicy side dish and adjusted it a bit for my husband and me," writes Sarah Gottschalk of Richmond, Indiana. "It's such a nice change from the usual baked potato...and healthier, too!"
These potatoes taste just like the deep-fried kind, but they're easier and less messy to make since they're baked. They're great served with fish or any meat dish. See if this doesn't become on of your family's favorites.
It always amazed me that this simple recipe could make potatoes taste so good. Mom liked to make them for Easter since they were more special than ordinary baked potatoes. —Ruth Seitz, Columbus Junction, Iowa
For a nifty way to spice up plain old potatoes, try Tressa Surdick's recipe. To make them, she slices the spuds, then seasons them before baking. "Just before they're done, I sprinkle cheese on top of each potato. Our guest always rave about the," Tressa pens from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. (To make the cutting easier, Tressa share this tip: "Place the handle of a wooden spoon along the bottom of the potato—this will prevent your knife from going all the way through.")
In Defuniak Springs, Florida, Alice DePauw jazzes up baked potatoes with this rich topping. “It’s easy, fast and everyone really enjoys it,” she notes. “It makes potatoes a little more special. For added zip, I use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise.”
Although you can serve this as a side dish, it's filling enough to make a main course. Small gatherings are good occasions for my stuffed potatoes—they're so easy to throw together.
Our 10-acre farm outside Toronto is nowhere near to the Southwest, of course. I love Mexican food, though, and this makes a nice alternative to tacos. I like its zesty taste, too.