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Twice-Baked Potatoes With Shiitake Mushrooms

Twice Baked Potatoes Side

Fresh shiitake mushrooms are one of my recent discoveries since we’ve been living in China. They’re relatively cheap and plentiful here, and they’ve got a great flavour – savory and soft. Yum! They are so different from the dried kind that is used often in Chinese cooking (which is what I grew up with). Not that I don’t like the dried kind – they have a pungent, intense aroma that is essential for some dishes – but the fresh ones go so well with cheese. And butter. And garlic. Ummm.

So here’s an easy meal that requires next to no active time (though the potatoes do have to roast for an hour in the oven) that’s delicious and will impress even the kids. For mushroom-haters (I am aware that there are some of you out there), you can substitute bacon, ham, olives, or pretty much anything else and I bet these would still taste fabulous.

By the way, go ahead and eat the skins. Potato skins are high in fiber and potassium, and the flesh just under the skin is high in vitamin C. They’re also low in calories. So don’t feel guilty about going off your diet – potatoes are healthy after all.  Just substitute plain yogurt for the butter and cut down on the cheese if you’re concerned about the fat content.  Oh, and since we’re eating the skins, buy organic potatoes if you can.  The last thing you want is to be ingesting a bunch of pesticides along with your healthy fiber and potassium.

So without further ado, Twice-Baked Potatoes with Shiitake Mushrooms!

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Shiitake Mushrooms

4 medium-large baking potatoes (I only have the yellow Chinese kind, so that’s what I used)
3 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp softened butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
100g semi-soft cheese (I had Gouda, so that’s what I used), diced small or shredded
10-12 medium fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 slices of mozzarella (optional)

Scrub the potatoes, making sure you remove all dirt. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, and then roast them in a 200 C oven (400 F) for about an hour, or until the skins are wrinkled and flesh is soft.

Meanwhile, cut or rip the stems off the mushrooms and wipe them with a damp cloth. Slice them about 1/3 inch thin.

Heat the oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat, and add the diced onion and garlic. Stir around and let them brown for 2-3 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are tender, another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

When potatoes are done, slice them in half, and using a teaspoon, scoop out the potato flesh, leaving a 1/3 inch border around the potato skins. Mash the potato flesh in a bowl with the milk and butter. Fold in the onion/garlic/mushroom mixture, as well as the diced cheese. Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper if needed.

Spoon the mashed potato mixture back into the potato skins, and top each with a slice of mozzarella (optional). Place on a cookie sheet or shallow pan. Bake at 175 C (350 F) for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through. Set under broiler for a minute or two if you want the tops browner. Let cool a minute or two, then serve.

Add a big green salad and a bottle of white wine, and you’ve got an easy and delicious vegetarian meal for 4. Yummilicious!

Twice Baked Potates Eating

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