Lemon, Basil & Artichoke Twice Baked Potatoes

My life has been a complete shambles the past two weeks- hence my solitary blogging hiatus.  Let’s see.. Packing: check.  Moving: check. Unpacking: check. New 45 minute commute to work: check. Preparing for homebound status due to the fact that I am carrying twin baby girls: check. Training RD to cover my leave: check.

To sum it all up for you?

Decide to tackle multiple major life changes all at once..? check.  I tell you, while I am apologetic to let a week go by without a peep from CB, I couldn’t help it.  But- seeing that I’ll be home full-time from now until the babies come in December- I’ll have no excuse to give if I decide to take a blogging break.  I have created recipes over the past month or so and have  lined them up to try out on my Fireman’s tastebuds and share with all my readers here. 

I have a feeling blogging will be my saving grace over the next three months while I am sentenced to being at home.  You would think that I would be jumping in glee about the fact I can sleep in and lounge around in my PJs all day- but I really love my job, so this last week of work has been bittersweet.  I adore each and every person I work with, so getting out of my regular routine of seeing them every day will be tough to transition to.  But my time at home will be short lived, and before I know it, I’ll be back to work as usual.. except for the slight change in life that I’ll have TWO babies now residing in the CB house. Me and the Fireman Daddy cannot wait.

In the meantime, I’ll share this delicious recipe I cooked up in our new kitchen this past week.

Twice Baked Potatoes.  You would think it was seriously Fall already- but even though today is September 3rd (already) there will still be 90 degree days to deal with here in Texas.  But, even if the thermometer reads 97, I can still dream about my Fall/Winter comfort foods, cinnamon and nutmeg smelling candles, and of course sweaters, leg warmers, and knee-high boots. I took  the classic twice baked potatoes and put a bit of a summer spin on it by adding fresh basil, lemon, and artichoke.  The result was a delicious blend of potato-y goodness that my Fireman raved about. 

Finished them off with a dash of parmesan for the crispy crunch at first bite, and perfection was accomplished right before my eyes. 

Not to mention the steakhouse inspired potato skin shell- here’s tip for getting that crispy skin on the outside- do not wrap your potatoes in foil during baking.  You’ll end up steaming them, resulting in a moist and soft skin.  Poke with a fork, drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt- bake at 400 degrees for about and hour to an hour and 15 minutes- and perfectly fluffy baked potatoes with crispy skin will be in your future. 

You’re welcome.

Today marks a couple things: Labor Day- which means fall is upon us (unless you live in Texas, than this is a distant dream..), Meatless Monday (which has been so poorly ignored over the past month or so..)  and officially my first day of modified bed rest. Life is about to slow down for this baby momma, and after looking back at the past couple months of hectic craziness, me and these baby girls are pretty excited about it.

Lemon, Basil, & Artichoke Twice Baked Potatoes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 potato half

Adapted from Kayotic Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 large baking potatoes (about 12 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped purple onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Addition chopped basil (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Pierce potatoes with a fork, and bake at 400° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender (do not wrap in foil- this will steam your potatoes, and you'll miss out on the crunchy shell.)

While the potatoes cook, prepare the sauce.

Heat oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add in the onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Whisk in the half and half and vegetable broth.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes- sauce will reduce by half. Remove from heat and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the fresh lemon juice and stir in the basil. Set the sauce aside.

Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell.

In a large bowl, mash pulp with a potato masher. Stir in the lemon-basil sauce, 2/3 cup Parmesan and the pine nuts.

Spoon potato mixture into shells; sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoon remaining Parmesan cheese.

Place stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet; bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with additional basil, if desired.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 297; Fat: 8 g: Carbohydrate: 40 g; Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 12 g

http://chocolate-broccoli.com/2012/09/lemon-basil-artichoke-twice-baked-potatoes.html

Comments

  1. Sounds crazy! But your potatoes look great!

  2. This recipe looks delish but when do I add the artichoke hearts? I am making this now so i will just add them to the sauce I guess.

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