If the coming days are going to feature big, celebratory meals of many parts, why not kick off the weekend with a great tray of filled potatoes, their skins crisped up and flesh mashed with cream cheese, coriander, spring onions, chilli and a little Mango chutney, all topped with sweet pickled red onions flecked with nigella seeds.
It’s the sort of meal that could feed the masses if everyone is descending on you tonight, or could just do one or two of you for a quiet dinner before the chaos begins. You can eat it on your lap in front of It’s a Wonderful Life, or place a great tray of them on the table with a salad or a big bowl of slaw.You could even make this recipe with baby potatoes and serve them as Christmas party nibbles.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- A red onion, very finely sliced
- A big pinch of nigella seeds
- 165g full fat cream cheese
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced on an angle
- A small green chilli, finely chopped
- A small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp mango chutney
- A big handful of grated cheddar (plus extra for finishing)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
2. Use a fork to prick the potatoes all over. Run under cold water so their skins are damp, then sprinkle with salt. Bake directly on the oven rack for an hour, or until the skins are well browned and you can tell from poking them with a knife that the flesh is soft.
3. While the potatoes are baking you might want to make the pickles. Put the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar has dissolved. Put the red onion slices in a small bowl and pour the hot vinegar over them. Add the nigella seeds and use a fork to mix.
4. When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat up to 250C/gas 9. Cut the potatoes in half. Scoop the flesh out into a large bowl. Put the skins on a baking tray and bake for five minutes, or until they’ve crisped up a bit.
5. Meanwhile, use a fork to mash the potato flesh. Mix with the cream cheese, spring onions, chilli, coriander, mango chutney and a big handful of cheddar. You might want to add a pinch of salt too. Mix well, then use a spoon to fill the skins, packing them with as much filling as you can legitimately fit in. Top with a little more cheddar and pop back in the oven for about eight minutes, or until they are bubbling and golden on Top.
6. Serve straight away with the pickled onions.