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Chase the winter blahs with a baked potato party.

This is the perfect time to try a party serving baked potatoes with various toppers. Select uniform potatoes with an oval or oblong shape and avoid potatoes with wrinkled skin, deep set eyes, cut surfaces or a greenish tint.

Store your potatoes in a cool, dark, well ventilated area, but not in the refrigerator.

For a party, slice baked potatoes in half and plan for 2-3 halves per person. The halves can be placed on a bed of lettuce or other greens for added color and crunch and your guests can then try various toppings buffet style.

Medium or large potatoes bake in 45-60 minutes at 400 [degrees]. Don't wrap the potatoes in foil, as this steams them instead of baking them. We also do not like the flavor or texture of potatoes prepared in the microwave oven.

Now for some toppings to get you started:

Chili stuffing

(Amount for four large baking


1/2 lb. ground meat

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 Tbs. chili powder

1 qt. whole tomatoes

1/4 cup water

4 cups shredded lettuce

2 tomatoes cut in wedges

1/2 cup shredded cheese

Combine the first four ingredients in a skillet and cook until the meat is browned and vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and water and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Place the mixture in a serving bowl with lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese nearby.

Guacamole topping

(Amount for four large baking


13 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese

1 ripe avocado, peeled and mashed

1/2 ripe tomato, peeled and chopped

1 Tbs. finely chopped onion

1-1/2 Tbs. lemon juice

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 tsp garlic powder

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add avocado. Stir in tomato, onion, lemon juice, and garlic powder. Place topping in serving bowl with bacon in a small bowl next to the topping.

Ham topping

(Amount for four large baking


2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. flour

1 cup milk

1/8 tsp pepper

1-1/2 cups diced cooked ham

1 cup shredded cheese

1/4 cup minced green onion

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour, sirring until smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Add milk gradually and cook until thickened. Then add next four ingredients. Place topping in serving bowl.

Garden topping

(Amount for four large baking


1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 Tbs chopped onion

1/3 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1/8 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients. Place in serving bowl.

Barbecued tuna topping

(Amount for four large baking potatoes)

1/4 cup chopped onion

cooking oil to saute onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup catsup

1/3 cup water

1 Tbs. brown sugar

1 Tbs. vinegar

1 Tbs. Worchestershire sauce

1-1/2 tsp. prepared mustard

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 can tuna, drained and flaked

Saute onion and add all ingredients except tuna. Simmer for 10- 12 minutes. Add tuna and cook until heated thoroughly. Place in a serving bowl.

Scandinavian meatballs

(Amount for four large potatoes)

cooking oil to saute 1 cup chopped


1 lb. ground meat made into meatballs

1 cup water or meat broth

2 Tbs. Worchestershire sauce

1 Tbs. cornstarch

1/2 cup sour cream

Saute onion. Brown meatballs. Combine cornstarch with 1 Tbs. water and add to onion mixture. Add 1 cup liquid, bring to a boil, and cook one minute. Add meatballs and cook until heated.

Reduce heat and stir in sour cream. Cook until heated, but do not boil.

Place in serving bowl.

Italian sausage topping

(Amount for four large potatoes)

1 lb. Italian sausage, sliced

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup sliced green pepper strips

2 Tbs. water

1/4 tsp. oregano (Next page, please)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage and drain. Add onion, green pepper, and water and cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in oregano. Place in serving bowl with bowl of mozzarella cheese nearby.

Ratatouille topping

(Amount for four large baking


1 eggplant cut in cubes

1/4 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large green pepper, chopped

2 chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/8 tsp. basil

1 zucchini, cut in strips

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

Saute eggplant in hot oil. Stir in onion, garlic and green pepper and saute until tender. Add tomatoes, water, seasonings. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and mushrooms. Place in serving bowl.

Place on your buffet table any other toppings that might be enjoyed by your guests.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Hunter, Jim
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:What's new in the potato field.
Next Article:Recipes from a lady beekeeper.

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