Sunday was one of those days. I overslept, turned over to look at the alarm clock when I heard the Daisy’s tags rattle and realized she was awake and on the move, and then wondered why the clock didn’t seem to be on. My initial impulse was to blame the dog – she still likes to shimmy under the bed and I thought she might have figured out how to unplug the alarm clock. But no such luck – the power was out. The power was out throughout the town: 2,000 some houses as it turned out. I’m not a functional human being without coffee, so we had to go out for breakfast and then we had to go without Internet and electricity for another three or so hours. It worked out fine, as it gave us plenty of time to take Daisy for a long walk and it gave me a good hour of time to do some
general cleaning. However, my well-laid cooking plans were significantly delayed so by the time the power came back on around 2:30 p.m., I was in no mood to actually cook.
My original intention was to make baked samosas. Samosas are a heavenly blend of potato, carrot, celery, onion, peas, and spices wrapped in dough and usually deep-fried. By the time the afternoon came around, I didn’t want to bother with making a dough, so decided to improvise, bake my potatoes instead, and make a riff on samosas with twice-baked potatoes. I have to say that I think I like this better than what I’d planned to make. I did throw a bit of parmesan cheese on the top of these and crisped it under the broiler. Cheese + potatoes are just a natural combination for me. I think they would have been just fine without this, but I’m going into a chaotic week and needed a little extra food love at lunch. I also am using a bit of cherry chutney to spice these up. It’s that time of the year when I’m in a scramble to use up as much of the canned goods that I put up the previous summer to make way for whatever I’ll be putting up starting in the spring. If you happen to have a good chutney on hand, the potatoes are lovely with them, but it’s not essential.
Samosa Style Twice-Baked Potatoes
2 baking potatoes, scrubbed
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Scrub the potatoes thoroughly. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for an hour or until potatoes are soft. Once potatoes are cooked, set aside to cool.
In a cast iron or non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft. Add the peas and cook until the peas are thawed. Add the mustard seeds, salt, ground ginger, curry powder and cumin and stir until all the vegetables are coated and put the spice and vegetable mix in a medium sized bowl.
Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out most of the potato. Leave a ¼ inch layer of potato in the skins to keep them stable for stuffing. Combine the potato with the vegetable mix in the bowl and combine. Stuff each potato skin with a portion of the vegetable and potato mix. Sprinkle the top of each stuffed potato with about an 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese. Put the potatoes back into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and broil the potatoes for 5 minutes, until the tops are browned. Serve with chutney on the side.