If you own a microwave, you have dinner! Every student faces the dilemma of what to eat for dinner. Fast-food, take out, TV dinners or another bowl of Ramen? This is my solution to the quick and easy meal and it is all done in the microwave! This is relatively healthy compared to the stuff we normally eat in a pinch. This classic pub food recipe has 2 variations: 1) microwave only 2) microwave and oven.
You will need:
2 Potatoes (Idaho, Yukon Gold, which ever you prefer)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBSP butter
Bacon bits (optional: homemade or store-bought)
1 paper towel
Optional: Sour cream, ranch dressing, hot sauce. Left over meat also works great, like BBQ pulled pork, buffalo chicken, beef brisket, etc.).
One of my favorite features of microwaves are the settings like the “popcorn” button. Since we are not making popcorn, at least not right now, we will use my other favorite setting, the “potato” button (yes, this is most likely on your microwave). If not, it is about 5-7 minutes for 2 potatoes. Any who, just enter the number of potatoes and you are good to go.
Tip: If you do not know how long your potatoes will take, start with a low time (4-5 minutes) and keep checking them (every minute or so) until they are done. Each microwave is different. If you have small potatoes, they take less time so the potato setting might over-cook them. If you overcook your potatoes, they will become hard and disgusting. So when in doubt, start low and keep checking until they are done. A knife should easily go through the flesh of the potato.
Wash the potatoes and pat them dry. Slice each potato in half (lengthwise aka hot dog style) and place skin side down on a paper towel. Place them in the microwave and select “2 potatoes” on the microwave setting (or 5-7 minutes).
Walk away and continue your school work.
When you hear the microwave ding, remove the potatoes and transfer them off the paper towel and to a microwave safe plate. Run a knife through the fluffy part of potatoes, do not cut through the skin though.
Divide the 1 TBSP of butter into 4 parts and spread on each potato (the butter will melt down into the knife marks you just made).
Next, top with cheese and place the plate into the microwave for 30 seconds.
Pull the plate out of the microwave. Grab the bacon bits and sprinkle on top of the potato skins. (The cheese won’t be completely melted at this point, that is okay). Because the bacon bits are already cooked you only want to warm them, if you put them on when you put the cheese on 2 terrible things can happen. 1) You cook the potatoes until the cheese is melted, thus burning the bacon bits. 2) You don’t burn the bacon bits, but the cheese will not be melted. Terrible right?
Once topped with bacon bits, place back in the microwave for another 30 seconds.
Bam! 8 minute potato skins. Top with whatever toppings you like. Sour cream and hot sauce are my personal favorite.
Change it up
If you want to add some protein to this, left over BBQ pulled pork on these are amazing!
Microwave & Oven
If I wasn’t in medical school and had time to make them like I normally do, this is what I would do.
Still slice the potato in half and microwave until done.
Then pre-heat your oven to the broil setting.
On a greased cookie sheet, place potatoes skin side up. Spray the potato skins with cooking spray and sprinkle with sea-salt and a drizzle of lime juice. Place in the oven for about 1-2 minutes.
Flip the skins over so skin side is down and follow the butter and cheese portion as above. Another minute in the oven. Then add bacon bits and place back in for another minute.
This will give you the crispy skin (like the deep-fried ones) and the lime juice gives it an extra kick.
Since school keeps me distracted, I like the microwave version. If I forget about the oven, my potatoes will keep on cooking and burning until I realize it. If I forget about the microwave, it turns itself off so I can’t do too much damage.
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