These have long been a favourite in my house. Not only are they gluten free, but also meat free. Of course there are animal products, so they aren’t suitable for vegans, but thankfully my female munchkin has given that up (no matter how much cornflour you put in soymilk, it will not thicken into white sauce!). Although potatoes do take a while to cook in the oven, once you have wrapped and put them in (which only takes about five minutes) you can then walk away and do something else. It only takes a few more minutes to assemble all the fillings, and everyone can fill their own potato, so it is an extremely easy, low fuss dinner, particularly if you are tired and can’t be bothered doing much. All you have to do is take the potatoes out of the oven, put them on a plate, put that plate and the plate of fillings on the table, and let everyone ‘dish up’ their own dinner. It’s also much better than takeaway – for a start you don’t have to go out, and on a cold night, a starchy yummy potato just hits the spot and fills a hungry tummy. We find that an adult can knock over two medium to large sized potatoes, so when I am thinking of making them, I try to buy 8 about the same size. I use a good washed potato, either white or red, you can use whatever you like, or whatever is one sale. Brushed potatoes won’t be any good, as these are cooked in their skins, and it takes too long to get the dirt off a brushed potato.
The good thing about this dish, is that most of the ingredients will ‘keep’ in the pantry or fridge, so it is very flexible when you are planning your menu. So long as you have all the ingredients handy, there is nothing to plan or do in advance. I find it very handy when I have forgotten to take any meat out of the freezer, so I usually have the basics on hand and this is a good ‘standby’ for times when I have done something silly like that.
NB – in the photo I have only used half an avocado, as only two out of the four of us like avocado, so a whole avocado is too much. Wrap the other half or put it in a container, and keep it in the fridge for something else. If more than two people are eating avocado, but all means use the whole fruit.
Mexitaters (serves 4)
8 clean skinned potatoes roughly the same size
300ml sour cream
Bottle of enchilada sauce (this should be gluten free, but read the label to be sure)
Grated cheese (about one cup – but as much as you like)
Can of mexican beans (from the international aisle of the supermarket)
Tear lengths of aluminium foil to wrap the potatoes, spray with cooking oil spray and wrap each potato in foil. Put on a baking sheet, place in an oven preheated to 180 degrees (fan forced) and cook for an hour to an hour and a half – depending on the size of the potatoes. Test by opening a large one and pricking with a skewer.
When the potatoes are almost cooked, put the beans in a microwave oven safe container. They will only take about a minute to heat up when you are ready to serve. Mash the avocado with salt to taste and add a dash of lime juice, also to taste. (Don’t do this too far ahead or the avocado will brown). Assemble the heated beans, avocado, sour cream, enchilada sauce and grated cheese in serving bowls, take to the table with the cooked potatoes. I find that mini tongs are the easiest way for people to use to put the grated cheese on their potatoes, spoons will do for all the other fillings.