It’s the National Day in Singapore tomorrow. I had been planning to make this dish for long and thought it was perfect timing to cook something special for a weeknight dinner just before a Public Holiday! So there it goes….twice baked potatoes with a spicy corn and cottage cheese filling. A perfect side-dish for any meal and terrific when heated up for lunch the next day. The best part is you can play around with the filling. I have used paneer, corn, spices, cilantro leaves, scallions, cottage cheese, milk and butter. But that’s not the end of it. You could get creative and add almost anything on earth you feel like. For example you can add sauteed spinach, sour cream, chives, dill or any herb your family loves. You want it non-vegetarian, throw in bits of bacon! Creativity is the soul of this dish. It’s up to you how well you turn your imaginative ideas to reality.
I am always in a hurry while whipping up dinners and if it’s vegetarian my LO does have a frown on her face! I know….what a shame!! But it’s true. So the onus is on me to make sure I make it special for her every time I cook vegetarian. She hates potatoes and that’s a harsh reality of my life. Literally who hates “potatoes”? But, the good news is she loves paneer and corn. She knows paneer is cheese and not something to do with “vegetarian” stuff!! Lol! That’s how she has carved out an image of it in her tiny imaginative mind. And this dish, my friends, she finds it amazingly delicious!! You know what, nothing beats the happiness of a mum who is successfully able to sneak in veggies into her picky meat-lover’s little tummy.
This dish is simple, effortless and filling. I have topped the stuffed potatoes with tiny bits of smoked Baby Gouda, which adds up to the elegance of the beautifully baked potatoes. I wouldn’t say this dish tops the health charts but yes, once in a while indulgence is fine on special occasions!!
Rustic potatoes – 2 large
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Paneer cubes – 10-12
Dairy farmers cottage cheese – 2 tsp
Corn kernels – 1/2 cup
Scallions / green onion / spring onion – chopped finely
Cilantro leaves – chopped finely
Milk – 1 tbsp
Butter – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Sour cream – 1 tsp (optional)
Gouda cheese – grated / shredded
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Wash and massage your potatoes with some olive oil and salt.
Make gashes on them with a knife.
Place the potatoes on a bed of salt on a baking tray lined with an aluminium foil.
This helps the potatoes absorb salt while baking.
Bake them at 200 degree celsius for about 50 mins to an hour or until the potatoes are soft on the inside.
Cut the baked potatoes into half using a knife.
Scoop out a portion of the potatoes from the middle with the help of a spoon, so as to form sufficient space for the filling.
P.S.: I know a portion of the skin has broken while I was scooping out. 😦 That’s because the potatoes were still hot. Make sure you allow the potatoes to cool down to room temperature before you scoop out. Else you will land up with torn potato skin like mine! 😦 But that’s fine! Committing mistakes is the epitome of learning. 😀
Take the scooped out potatoes in a mixing bowl and gently mash it up using a fork.
Add the corn kernels.
If you are using store-bought frozen paneer, submerge it in warm water for at least 30 mins. Then grate or crumble the paneer. Add the crumbled paneer.
Now add in the spices – red chilli powder, cumin powder, chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, salt and black pepper powder.
I used around 2 tsp of Dairy Farmer’s Cottage cheese. It is low in fat, low in sugar, natural good source of protein and gives a variety in taste and texture.
Give everything a good mix. At this stage, you can add some milk, butter and sour cream to make the mixture a little moist.
Once everything is mixed well, spoon in generous portions of this mixture into the potato cavities.
Top up the potatoes with bits of Baby Gouda cheese. Or you can use any shredded cheese of your liking.
Place them back on the baking tray lined with aluminium foil.
Bake these at 180 degree celsius for 10-15 mins, or until the cheese melts and starts browning.
Once they are done, serve them hot as a side-dish with your main course or as an appetizer.
Serve them up with natural yogurt on the side and they will make an excellent snack as well.