Broccoli and Cheese Potato Skins

I have really had cravings for broccoli lately.  Broccoli and cheese to be exact. I’ve thought of soups, and I have made casseroles, and I just was not completely satisfied. I wanted more. As you may or may not be aware, I created a new site called Baked Potato Skins and it is my playground for all things potato skins. Everything from the classic potato skin to what I call the Hangover can be found there. The thought of broccoli and cheese soup led me to create those comforting flavors and place them inside of a baked potato skin.

Broccoli and Cheese Potato Skins Recipe

I was inspired to make these potato skins from a memory I had while back in middle school. A simple memory of being at the local mall, and inside being a small restaurant that served, I believe, broccoli and cheese twice baked potatoes. For the life of my wife and I, we both recall them, we cannot figure out what that chain restaurant was named. If you remember, please let me know.

Ingredients:

  • 5 whole Russet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, minced
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets, steamed and patted dry
  • 2 cups of cheddar jack cheese, shredded

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Poke the top of each potato with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Once cooked, remove from the baking sheet, and place on a plate to let cool for about 15 minutes.

Once your potatoes are cooled, use a sharp bread knife and you will cut lengthwise, into three segments of one potato, long slices. So each potato will yield two skins, right? Discard the middle slice and reuse for breakfast the following morning, or heck for that matter, add some butter, salt, and cream, and make some rustic mashed potatoes.

Continue this cutting process with the rest of the potatoes. You should then have 10 skins. With a small spoon, being careful, scoop out about 70 percent of the potato, as you still want some potato in your boat.

Next, melt your butter in the microwave. Get your broiler heated to high. Brush the butter on the inside and outside of each potato skin and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season the inside of each skin with salt and pepper.

How to make broccoli and cheese potatoes

Place them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter.

Remove them from the oven, and fill each one with a bit of red onion and garlic. Place back in the oven and cook another couple of minutes.

Remove them once again, and fill them up with chopped broccoli and load them up with the cheese.

Again, place them back in the oven and cook until the cheese is nice and melted.

Remove them from the oven, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and plate them up.

Now I got my broccoli fix. Healthy? Probably not the healthiest with the cheese and butter, but that thought is taken away when you bite into the potato skin that is loaded with broccoli. These are darn delicious and a perfect game time snack. I hope you enjoy.

Broccoli and Cheese Potato Skins
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 5 whole Russet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup of red onion, minced
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets, steamed and patted dry
  • 2 cups of cheddar jack cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Poke the top of each potato with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Once cooked, remove from the baking sheet, and place on a plate to let cool for about 15 minutes.
  2. Once your potatoes are cooled, use a sharp bread knife and you will cut lengthwise, into three segments of one potato, long slices. So each potato will yield two skins, right? Discard the middle slice and reuse for breakfast the following morning, or heck for that matter, add some butter, salt, and cream, and make some rustic mashed potatoes.
  3. Continue this cutting process with the rest of the potatoes. You should then have 10 skins. With a small spoon, being careful, scoop out about 70 percent of the potato, as you still want some potato in your boat.
  4. Next, melt your butter in the microwave. Get your broiler heated to high. Brush the butter on the inside and outside of each potato skin and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season the inside of each skin with salt and pepper.
  5. Place them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter.
  6. Remove them from the oven, and fill each one with a bit of red onion and garlic. Place back in the oven and cook another couple of minutes.
  7. Remove them once again, and fill them up with chopped broccoli and load them up with the cheese.
  8. Again, place them back in the oven and cook until the cheese is nice and melted.
  9. Remove them from the oven, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and plate them up.

 

Nacho Style Mac and Cheese

It’s football season and that means a few things in my house. Typically lazy Sundays and great comfort food. The question always arises and they all know it’s coming, ‘what do you guys want for the game?’. Typically the kids don’t really care, nor do they fully partake in the appetizers, or chili, or other comforting food. So this past game day, I decided to make one of our favorites, queso. Queso means cheese, so let’s get that out of the way.

Nacho Mac and Cheese Recipe

Queso in my house means Velveeta cheese, a bit of cooked ground beef, and a can of Rotel. When all of these are combined, it is nothing short of addictive awesomeness. As my wife and I devoured the queso, we had to remove it from our table as again, it was becoming way too addictive. I looked at the bowl of queso everytime I opened the refrigerator, and I did not want it to go to waste. Instead, I decided to make a Nacho style mac and cheese recipe, and whoa, was it ever great.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of Fussilini pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 cup crumbled tortilla chips
  • For the Queso:
  • 32 oz Velveeta cheese
  • 1/2 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 10 oz can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter

 

Make the queso by adding the Velveeta, ground beef, and Rotel into  a medium-sized, microwaveable safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and cook in the microwave for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Nacho Mac and Cheese Recipe

Butter a large casserole dish.

Place the cooked pasta inside a large mixing bowl. Add the queso, and stir to incorporate all of the cheese.

Pour into your casserole dish and top with the tortilla chips.

Place in the preheated oven, uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, garnish with some red and green onion and dig in.

This is not only a great way to use up your leftovers, including the tortilla chips that your kids decide not to finish, but it is truly a great new take on a classic mac and cheese. Hope you enjoy.

 

Homemade Chex Mix

Chex Mix is a staple in my household. It is one of those snacks that everyone enjoys during the week. With that said, whenever I see the Chex Mix opened, I watch as everyone eats the mixture. As the bag gets tossed around, yes, forget the bowl here, my daughter picks out only the pretzels, my son picks out only the rice chex, my wife picks out the rice and corn chex and whatever nuts she can find, and well, my handful is left with wheat chex and bagel chips. I don’t complain about it, but at the end of the day it would be nice to get a handful of rice and corn chex, maybe a pretzel, and some nuts.

Chex Mix Recipe

So I decided to make my own. My mom use to make batches of this stuff when I was growing up and I recall it being better than any bagged chex mix. Plus I would use whatever leftover rice or corn cereal mix there was, dump a bunch of sugar on it with a bit of milk, and it it for breakfast. Not sure what was better at the time, the garlicky chex mix or the cereal loaded with sugar! So after I thought about my mom’s flavors, I decided to come up with my own.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 4 cups of Corn Chex® cereal
  • 4 cups of Rice Chex® cereal
  • 2 cups of pretzel sticks
  • 3/4 cup lightly salted almonds
  • large roasting pan

Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees. Next mix all of your seasonings into a bowl and set it to the side. Add the butter to a roasting pan and place it in the oven until melted. Once melted, remove it from the oven, add in the Worcestershire sauce and seasoning blend and give it a good stir.

How to make chex mix recipe

Next add in the rice and corn Chex mix, pretzels, and nuts. Give that a really good stir, being careful not to crush all of the Chex, and once mixed, place back in the oven.

You are going to cook this for about one hour, and remove it from the oven every 20 minutes to give it a good stir. Once stirred, place back in the oven, and repeat 2 more times until the hour is up.

Your house will begin to smell really, really good. Almost too good that you might want to take it out after 20 minutes and begin snacking on it. Just wait, and be patient. It will pay off.

When the hour is up, remove it from the oven, and turn off the heat. If you have a large baking sheet, pour the mixture onto it to help with the cooling. Now you can start eating it.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Who am I kidding? This chex mix will only last a week, if that. This is a perfect snack that won the hearts of everyone in my family. My daughter was able to easily snack on all the pretzels, my kids on their handfuls of Chex, and my wife was the real winner. Not a bagel chip in sight, nor a wheat Chex.

The flavor of this mixture is hands down better than the store bough. It does have a slight kick from the cayenne, but the old bay, garlic, and seasoned salt, as well as the class flavor of the Worcestershire sauce really sends this Chex mix recipe into a whole new category of awesomeness. So the next time you are craving Chex mix, and a really great snack, give this one a shot.

Now the big question is, what is your favorite part of the Chex mix?

Compound Butter

Butter, something most everyone loves (or tries to avoid). I remember growing up and loving the simple things of bread and butter. I see one of my kids doing that now. He is content with simple bread and butter, heck, I have even seen him try to get away with making a butter sandwich for lunch! When it comes to butter, we often think of salted or unsalted (I am a fan of unsalted), and that is about it. There is more to butter though, and that is making compound butter.

Compound Butter Recipe

Maybe you have had compound butter already, and many might have tried it in a restaurant without even knowing it. I make compound butter from time to time. Not only is it super simple to make, but it lasts a long time when stored in the freezer. During this time of year when the gardens are blooming with fresh herbs, and the grills are fired up on a nightly basis, using compound butter seems like a perfect pairing.

Let’s get started.

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • generous pinch of salt
  • plastic wrap

How to make compound butter

Begin by adding your butter to a mixing bowl. Keep in mind that you want it to be room temperature so that you can easily work with it. Toss in the chopped herbs, salt, and pepper, and give it a good mix.

Next, lay out a large piece of plastic wrap. Place the butter to the middle of the plastic wrap, into an oblong shape if you can. Next place the plastic wrap over the butter, and begin rolling into a cylinder, trying to keep it as tight together as possible. The tighter the better as it will press the butter back together.

Once you have it in a tight cylinder shape, place it in the freezer for at least three hours. When you are ready to use, cut it into a medallion and remove any plastic wrap. Add the medallion to grilled meats or vegetables.

Compound butter not only makes a great presentation on the plate, but it is packed full of wonderful flavor. I’m a huge fan of rosemary, hence whey I used it in the is compound butter recipe, but the possibilities are endless. So the next time you are having a get together, make some compound butter and surprise your guests. Enjoy.