One of the menu ideas in Simplified Dinners is a baked potato bar. It’s a filling dinner and can also be a great way to use up leftovers: a bit of ham, a bit of beef, a bit of cheese, a bit of sour cream. When I make chili, if there are leftovers, but not enough leftovers to make a second meal, I freeze it to use on top of baked potatoes.
In fact, we had a baked potato dinner a few weeks ago, with ham and cheese and broccoli. It was delicious.
I decided to do another potato dinner last week, but this time had fewer toppings. I was concerned that, with the proximity to the last baked potato meal, it would pale in comparison and feel like a dud of a dinner.
So I changed things up — and in a way that made it not only more glamorous, but also faster:
- I cut the potatoes into big quartered steak fries. Yup, I just changed the shape.
- Then, at 425-degrees, with a spritz of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of seasoning salt, they were done and a beautiful roasted brown in under 20 minutes.
But I wasn’t done yet. I was going to win points with this dinner, even if it was only going to be potatoes, cheese, and a small dish of leftover ground beef with onions.
- I cut slices of cheese and laid them over the roasted fries, stuck it back in the oven for 5 minutes, and pulled out sizzling cheesy steak fries.
Yum, yum. The vegetable side was quartered sweet potatoes that roasted at the same time and temperature as the potatoes, served with a little butter and salt. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
It was a simple dinner, but it was very satisfying, and did win me points. I highly recommend that you try it.
Do you have any recommendations for making a simple meal stand out?