Some people think that because I am a trained Chef that I cook fancy meals every night, that everything I put on our dinner table has to be something spectacular or stupendous. I don't mind pulling out the stops for special occasions, but on ordinary week days and weekends for that matter, I am just like everyone else. The food around here can be quite simple.
I have busy days also, even though I am retired. In fact I have days when I wonder how I ever got what I got done when I was working full time. I would cook at work and then come home and cook again at home. My husband always had a delicious cooked meal prepared by myself.
I think I am slowing down with old age because I am not sure that I could do that now. Cook all day at work and then come home and cook some more. Oh to be sure I can still pull out the stops when I really want to and when we have guests coming for dinner, and I can't wait until my kids are over here in April and I get to spoil them a bit.
Most of the time however. We do eat rather simply. And sometimes I get downright lazy. Sometimes . . . like today.
Cheesy Chili Jackets for Two. Over here in the UK they call baked potatoes Jacket Potatoes . . . meaning they are still wearing their outdoor clothes/skins. Jacket potatoes are big sellers at most cafes actually. I can remember my first meal here (20 odd years ago, right after I arrived) being a Jacket Potato at a Cafe at Euston Station while we were waiting for the train up to Chester.
I think I just had it with cheese, but to be honest I was so tired from having flown all night I can't quite remember . . . I remember only that I had a baked potato, and thought it most unsual that they had restaurants that served only baked potatoes.
You will see them served hot and loaded with cheese. Amazingly copious amounts of cheese. You will see them served hot and loaded with tuna mayonnaise with sweet corn as well. To be honest, that doesn't really appeal to me.
You will see them loaded up with baked beans . . . yes, from a tin, and sometimes you can get cheese on top of that. Interestingly enough, its quite good.
At Costco in the cafe you can buy them with chili ladled on top. Todd enjoys those. Today I thought I would do something similar at home, but I didn't have homemade chili to put on top, and I wanted something really quick so I used tinned chili.
Stag Chili with meat and beans . . . I quite like it actually, when I'm not making my own from scratch. Today was not a from scratch kind of a day. I do the potatoes in two steps.
I nuke them first in the microwave until they are soft and then I bang them into a hot oven while I am heating the chili so that the skins crisp up.
I spooned the hot chili over top and then some cheese and garnished with sour cream and chopped spring onion. It was hearty and filling and it tasted good and was on the table in about 20 minutes tops. Nobody complained.
Author: Marie Rayner
Cheesy Chili Jackets for Two
Quick, easy and delicious. You can't ask for more than that on a night when you are lacking in both time and inspiration but want a tasty meal on the table pronto.
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 1 (400g) tin of chili with beans (14 1/2 ounce tin)
- 4 TBS grated strong cheddar cheese
- 2 TBS sour Cream
- 1 spring onion, trimmed and chopped
How to cook Cheesy Chili Jackets for Two
- Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.
- Wash your jacket/baking potatoes. Dry well and prick all over with a fork. Wrap up each one individually in paper towels. Microwave on high, one at a time, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just soft. When you have done this to both of them, pop them into the preheated oven right onto the oven rack.
- Open your can of chili and heat it gently over medium/low heat for about 6 to 8 minutes until heated through and bubbling.
- Remove your jacket potatoes from the oven and place each one on a serving plate. Break open with a fork or knife and carefully push the sides to fluff up the insides. Divide the hot chili between each. Sprinkle each with 2 TBS of cheese. Let the cheese melt. Serve each with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped spring onion if desired.
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A tossed salad goes well on the side to complete the meal and get in some veg. Guilty secret here . . . I love a baked potato with Caesar salad spooned over top, with croutons, bacon and plenty of Parmesan flakes. Its so good. I just love baked potatoes I guess. Just don't give me one with tuna and sweetcorn mayonnaise on it.