I love potatoes. And cheese. Put together they form the the dream combination of comforting carbs and creamy cheesy goodness. I spent my youth eating jacket potatoes with cheese, graduating to cheesy chips at uni and then on to other such wonderful discoveries such as tartiflette while in France. Giving up cheese was the single biggest hurdle I faced when considering moving to a plant based diet. “But what about cheese?” is the much uttered cry of so many people when the ‘V’ word comes up (vegan that is..) in conversation. I myself uttered those exact words to a guy I had just met last summer, upon telling me he was vegan. Oh, how times have changed!
I think some of the hardest foods to forgo are those that we associate with comfort or childhood, and certainly for me, these categories overlap hugely. So in order to recapture the comforting cheesy potato flavour combination of my youth I give you Cheese and Chive Stuffed Potato Skins. They have a crispy and crunchy skin which is filled with a smooth creamy potato filling and they are really moreish. Their appearance is slightly deceiving too as, depending on the size of potatoes you use, you can find yourself eating one in a few bites while you’re gathering the ingredients for a salad to have on the side. Then by the time you’re sitting down to eat you’ve already eaten the equivalent of 2 baked potatoes which you’d never dream of dishing out for yourself as a pre-dinner snack. I have zero regrets though. They’re so good. Besides, it’s just potato, a vegetable, how bad can it be?
This recipe calls for cashew cream, you can find the recipe here. I say “recipe” but it honestly takes about 5 minutes of actual work and just more time to soak the cashews. I put some vegan cheese on top just because it had some on hand but it really doesn’t need it (and most shop bought vegan cheeses are awful-to my tastebuds anyway!)
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 70 mins
- 1 quantity cashew cream (recipe)
- 6-8 medium sized white potatoes (I plucked the large ones from a mixed 1kg bag)
- 1 tbs dairy free spread (I used vitalite)
- Bunch of fresh chives, chopped finely
- 1 tbs white miso paste
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- 1 tbs Nutritional yeast (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Wash the potatoes and dry potatoes and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake the potatoes until cooked through and crispy on the outside. Just how you would a jacket potato. The time this takes will depend entirely on the size of the potatoes that you’re using but I would check after about 45 mins. Mine usually take closer to an hour. Turn the oven down to 180°C
- While your potatoes are cooking you can make the cashew cream if you haven’t already.
- Once the potatoes are cooked remove them from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
- Once they are cooled enough to handle slice the potatoes in half lengthways across their widest point.
- Scoop out the soft inner part of each potato half with a spoon and place into a large mixing bowl and keep the skins to one side. You want to get as much of the potato out as you can without causing the outer skin to collapse. This should be quite easy if the skins are nice and crispy as they’ll be quite solid to work with. I normally do this when they are still a little warm so hold each half using a tea towel in one hand and a spoon to scoop in the other. Place the empty skins onto a baking tray and put to one side.
- Add the cashew cream and the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl (saving a small handful of chives and a drizzle of cashew cream for garnish, if you like) with the potato innards and mash with a fork until everything is combined and reasonably smooth. At this point you can have a taste and see if you need to add more seasoning to the mix.
- Take spoonfuls of the mixture and fill the potato skins with the potato chive mash mixture then smooth over the tops. Place into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. You want the tops to be slightly brown and everything piping hot.
- Remove from oven, pipe on some cashew cream and scatter chives if you have some reserved and serve immediately. I dare you to just eat one.