Jacket potatoes really don't get enough credit, do they? The humble jacket potato is not really given its rightful status among snacks and side dishes. Yet it provides the basis for some great snacks, as well as accompanying main courses. Naturally potato skins are wonderful served simply with butter and grated cheese, but there are many more toppings. Try these fantastic fillings for jacket spuds …
1. Peanut Stuffing
Who would have thought of serving peanuts with jacket potatoes? Here´s a filling that you can serve either hot or cold. It might also make an interesting sandwich filling or dip but would probably need to be made a bit thinner to be served as a dip (just add a little more milk).
2. Beef Fajita
Jacket potatoes are often served as an accompaniment to steak, but rarely the other way round! Here the steak is sliced up and cooked with fajita mix for a Mexican influence; a spoonful of guacamole adds the final touch.
3. Brazilian Picadillo
Any kind of Bolognese-type sauce makes an excellent filling for a jacket potato. This version uses beef mince, but you could easily substitute turkey or veggie mince. Sauces like this benefit from being made the day before and left in the fridge overnight, to allow the flavours to develop.
4. Chicken & Mushroom Spud Pies
Chicken and mushroom are a popular combination for pies, and here they are used to make a jacket potato filling. The potato is turned into a mash topping for the chicken, and the potato shells serve as a pastry substitute. Ingenious!
5. Smoked Mackerel & Spring Onion
Obviously the potatoes will still take the usual time to cook, but this fishy filling is pretty simple to make. There´s little more to do than mix up the ingredients and pile onto the potatoes. Smoked salmon or haddock would be a good substitute for the mackerel.
6. Dolcelatte & Sun Blush Tomatoes
If you do like cheese on your potatoes, then why not try a ´posh´ cheese for a bit of variety? This is another simple but tasty filling, with some lovely flavours like the concentrated taste of sun blush tomatoes.
7. Lemon & Chutney Filling
This is just about as simple as it gets for a jacket potato filling, but it´s so different that I had to include it. Chutney is not an obvious choice of filling, but it´s definitely more imaginative than cheese or butter. And what´s more, its piquant taste is going to convert that potato into something quite special.
8. Cranberry & Brie
You may well have sampled a cranberry and Brie sandwich, but I´m sure you´d never have thought of using them to top a jacket potato. They make such a fabulous combination, and since cranberries are not sweet they would make a different but tasty topping. There really is no need for a recipe for this!
A jacket potato makes a great lunch, and with a little forethought you can have a topping that´s much more imaginative than grated cheese or beans. Try some of these fillings, and this basic dish will become a lunchtime feast. What is your favourite filling for jacket potatoes – and are you fond of indulging in an unusual filling?
Top Photo Credit: weheartit.com