October 30, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Baked Potatoes

Until very recently, I had not eaten a broccoli cheese potato for upwards of ten years. It is actually an interesting story. You see, when I was nine or ten years old I went to my grandparents house with a cousin of mine for a little vacation. One night my grandmother made broccoli and cheese potatoes.

I remember being in love at first bite. There is just something so succulent about a soft pillowy potato smothered in gooey melty cheese and topped with steamed broccoli. It was one of those moments where you overeat just because something tastes so incredibly good.

As a result of over eating, about thirty minutes after dinner I had some severe gas pain (you probably did not want to know that). As soon as I started feeling all gaseous my grandma reached inside her magical bag of goodies, and pulled out a small bottle of bean-o.

That's right, bean-o. Now I don't know about you, but the only bean-o adds I have seen have old people in them. I love old people. However, in my nine or ten year old mind that gas-relieving juice was only for my grandparents.
Broccoli Cheese Potatoes from www.the-taste-tester.com
I refused to have anything to do with it, and brushed off all of my pain. However, the pain was really bad, so bad that about one hour later I found myself a mile away form their home rolling around in who-knows-who's front lawn, moaning in pain.

Yep, you guessed it. I succumbed to the bean-o. It worked like magic too, just fyi.

Since then I have not walked within a ten foot radius of broccoli cheese potatoes, mostly because I am still afraid to admit that beano is for human beings of all ages, not just old folk.

But I have been trying to face all of my fears lately, hence this blog post. I braved the broccoli cheese potato once again, bottle of bean-o in hand.

They are sooooo delicious, just like I remember. Want to make your own?

First I am going to start by showing you how to make a fantastic baked potato. The right baked potato will be like a perfect blank canvas for a masterpiece painted with steamed broccoli and an awesome cheese sauce. For each recipe of cheese sauce you make, you will need four medium-large baking potatoes.  Make sure the top rack in your oven is positioned in the middle of the oven. Put an aluminum foil lined baking sheet on the oven rack beneath that. This one will catch any oily drips. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 

Wash and dry your potatoes. Poke them with a fork; 2-3 pokes per side.
Broccoli Cheese Potatoes from www.the-taste-tester.com
Brush the whole potato with olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil (whatever you have on hand, no need to break the bank).
Broccoli Cheese Potatoes from www.the-taste-tester.com
Sprinkle the tops of your potatoes with coarse sea salt. Place on the middle rack in oven. Bake for 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of your potato. The skin should be crispy and the insides should still be firm but soft, not mushy.
Broccoli Cheese Potatoes from www.the-taste-tester.com
During the last fifteen minutes of potato cooking time, steam your broccoli and make cheese sauce to your hearts content. Resist the urge to eat all of the cheese sauce before the potatoes are done cooking. Really, it's that good.
Broccoli Cheese Potatoes from www.the-taste-tester.com
Although the potatoes may take up to one hour to cook, preping the potatoes for the oven+making the cheese sauce+steaming the broccoli= less than thirty minutes. This is truly a perfect and simple weeknight meal. 

Simple Cheese Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of your grater
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons Frank's hot sauce
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, toss the grated cheese and cornstarch together.
  2. Add one cup of the evaporated milk and the hot sauce.
  3. Place on burner over medium high heat.
  4. Stir constantly until completely melted. It will get thick.
  5. If you would like a thinner sauce add more of the evaporated milk.
  6. Serve immediately over potatoes, with french fries, on nachos, etc.
Notes:

Reheats well in microwave.

To make a spicier sauce, do half cheddar cheese and half pepper jack cheese. Add a few diced pickled jalapenos.
    Recipe by Serious Eats
    5 out of 5 stars

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    2 comments:

    1. Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about potatoes! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

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    2. Thanks for linking in to Food on Friday: Potatoes. We are hoping to get a great collection of potato dishes.
      I have just signed up to follow your blog via Google Reader. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or have you already followed? Cheers

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