When dining out, many people enjoy sides such as twice baked potatoes, particularly because these seem difficult to make. The truth is, preparing them is easy, it just takes patience due to the long cooking time. Try this delicious healthy version that uses a smaller amount of butter and includes reduced-fat cream cheese.
You will need:
• 4 medium sized (approx. 6 ounces each) russet potatoes
• 2 leeks (green and white parts), cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• ½ cup skim milk
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, and extra for garnishing
• 2 teaspoons thyme, freshly chopped
• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
• 4 ounces reduced-fat onion and chive flavored cream cheese
• Fresh ground black pepper
• Kosher salt
• Kitchen knife
• Baking sheet
• Large bowl
• Large nonstick skillet
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash potatoes, dry them, and rub them with vegetable oil, then season with salt. Place potatoes on the baking sheet and bake them for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until they are crisp outside but tender inside. Let the potatoes stand for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Heat the butter in the skillet on a burner set to medium heat. Add leeks, seasoning them with the pepper and salt. Cook leeks 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. Add thyme and garlic and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant. Cool slightly.
Step 3: Remove the potatoes from the baking sheet and use the knife to cut each potato lengthwise down the center. Stop about an inch from each end. Use the spoon to scoop out the insides of each potato, placing this in the bowl. Allow about ¼-inch of potato to remain next to the skin.
Step 4: Add the cream cheese, milk, and leek mixture to the bowl and use a fork to mash ingredients until they are combined but still a bit chunky. Gently stir in parsley.
Step 5: Spoon about ½ cup of this filling into each potato shell. Put the potatoes on the baking sheet and bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and the potatoes are heated. Remove them from the oven, garnish with parsley, and serve.