It’s holiday cooking time and that means special side dishes to go with your great entrees. Here’s one that Sheila and I really like because it goes with all kinds of poultry and beef. We’ve never tried it with ham, but I bet it would be a tasty alternate to the sweet potatoes we usually serve with the pork dishes. We often do Cream Cheese Bakes for our baked potatoes and we add the shrimp at the holidays.
I found a leftover shrimp baked potato in the frig and discovered that the addition of the shrimp makes the dish hearty enough to stand on its own as a lunch – add a salad and you’re good to go. Alone or with dinner, it’s a favorite at our house. This is also a make-ahead dish, so you can refrigerate the finished potatoes for a day until you are ready to reheat them for dinner.
No bodies were found anywhere in the vicinity, except those overstuffed folks taking naps while recovering. 😉
- Idaho or russet potatoes, 1 for each person
- Milk, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon each potato
- Margarine for rubbing on the skin of each potato (optional)
- Margarine (or butter) 1 heaping Tablespoon each potato
- Whipped cream cheese, (Temptee or Philadelphia) 1 heaping Tablespoon each potato
- Sea Salt, ½ teaspoon each potato
- Large cooked shrimp, 4 for each potato, deveined and shells removed
- 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Scrub potatoes, rub margarine on outside to create more tender, tasty skin (optional).
- Place skewers lengthwise through center of potato. Prick potatoes with a fork.
- If buttered, place sheet of aluminum foil on rack below where potatoes will sit, to catch the drippings.
- Place potatoes directly on oven racks and bake for 20 minutes.
- Set aside two whole shrimps for each potato. Cut the rest of the shrimp into 1/4 inch pieces and refrigerate all shrimp until ready to use.
- Flip potatoes in oven every 20 minutes and prick again. Cook until potatoes feel soft when squeezed (about 50-60 minutes total).
- Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on cooling rack (or cool enough to handle while scooping)
- Cut the fully baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out insides (leaving the empty skins intact) and place pulp in mixing bowl. Set skins aside in baking dish, being careful not to tear them.
- Whip potatoes with electric mixer until smooth.
- Gradually add 1 heaping tablespoon margarine (or butter) for each potato until well blended.
- Gradually add 1 heaping tablespoon whipped cream cheese for each potato until well blended.
- Add milk only until fluffy (consistency of mashed potatoes).
- Add salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon each potato)
- Heat 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine in frying pan, add garlic powder and stir to mix. Immediately add all shrimp (whole and pieces) to the frying pan and lightly toss to coat.
- Add shrimp pieces only to potatoes and mix until just blended.
- Using large spoon, divide mixture evenly among potato empty skins. Smooth or texture surface with fork or back of spoon.
- Place one whole shrimp on top of each filled potato skin.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to reheat.
- Just before placing in oven, insert a teaspoon of butter or margarine into each potato half and bake for 30 minutes to reheat.
- Test centers (should be hot to touch before serving).
*Photo by Patti Phillips