I’m sure that other parts of the country are beginning to thaw (if they ever were really frozen), but up here in Maine, the idea of having the oven on for a couple of hours to bake potatoes, bread, pie and a roast while we pull our chairs up around the stove to warm our toes, hands and cheeks is still quite in vogue.
This is one I made yesterday when the wind was howling – still. The crew was happy to run from the barn to the house to find a blast of warm air hit their cheeks as they came in for tea or to check on the new baby chicks.
Potato Skins with Artichokes and Fontina
5 russet potatoes
10 marinated artichoke quarters, coarsely chopped
6 ounces sliced Fontina cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce the skin of the potatoes with a fork and place on the middle rack bake for one hour or until the potatoes are tender in the middle and give a little when you squeeze them. You can do this step ahead of time. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out the flesh on the inside. Save the flesh for gnocchi or a soup and place the skins onto a baking sheet.
Reduce oven to 300 degrees. Divide the artichoke quarters evenly among the the potato skins and top with slices of Fontina. Grind the pepper on top and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
Good to go in the garden as soon as the ground thaws