Everyone thinks of lobster, when they think of Maine…but did you know that the potato industry nearly matches that of the spiny crustacean, in terms of revenue generated in the state? You might not believe it, until you drive through Aroostook County, the Northernmost county in the state, and pass through the thousands of acres of potato fields there. Farm stands sell every variety available, and we came home with a few perfect specimens of the Russet potato; thick-skinned to withstand the cold temperatures, with white, fluffy insides that burst open when you apply pressure to the baked skin.
While I still think the best way to appreciate a good potato is to overcook it slightly so the skin turns crackly, scoop out the flesh, and slather the skins with lots of butter and sour cream, that doesn’t exactly make for a healthy meal. We’re big fans of this stuffed version, inspired by Indian take-out samosas, those little crunchy fried puffs of potato and curry. They’re super fast and easy to make, and could even be considered reasonably good for you, since there is very little dairy or fat used. They’re perfect with a skewer of grilled lamb, but are substantial enough to stand on their own as a weeknight dinner.
Samosa-Inspired Baked Stuffed Potatoes
Adapted from a recipe by Food Network Kitchens; Serves 4
- 2 large potatoes
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Splash of olive oil
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3/4 cup peas, cooked
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Plain yogurt (for topping)
- Wash potatoes, and pierce with fork. Bake directly on oven rack at 400 degrees, for one hour.
- While potatoes cook, saute onions, curry, ginger, and mustard in olive oil over medium heat until onions soften, about 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove potatoes from oven (potatoes are hot!) and split lengthwise, scooping insides into a bowl. Add onion mixture, cilantro, peas, and butter, and mash with a potato masher until most lumps are gone. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Fill potato skin halves with mixture, top with yogurt, and serve.