Turkey Potato Shells

Turkey Potato Shells

1 tablespoon of butter or margarine, melted
3 large baking potatoes
1 pound of ground turkey
1 envelope (about 1Â1/4 ounces) taco seasoning mix
1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup dairy sour cream
Â1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)
2 green onions or scallions (with tops), sliced

To Prepare Potatoes:

When picking potatoes, look for smooth, firm, well-shaped potatoes with unblemished skins, free from discoloration. Scrub potatoes and, if desired, rub with some olive or canola oil for softer skins. Prick with fork to allow steam to escape.

To Bake: Bake until tender in a 375 degree oven for 1 to 1Â1/4 hours. In a 350 degree oven, bake for 1Â1/4 to 1Â1/2 hours. In a 325 degree oven, bake for about 1Â1/2 hours.

To Microwave: Prick potatoes of similar size with a fork to allow steam to escape. Arrange potatoes about 1 inch apart in a circle in microwave oven. Microwave uncovered on high (100%) until tender, about 11 to 13 minutes. Let stand uncovered for about 1 minute.

To Steam: Place steamer basket in Â1/2 inch water (water should not touch bottom of basket). Place whole potatoes in basket. Cover tightly and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Steam until tender, for about 30 to 35 minutes.

Heat oven to 475 degrees. Cut each potato lengthwise into halves. Scoop out potatoes, leaving a Â1/4-inch shell. Place the potatoes, that were scooped out, in a covered container to refrigerate and use for later. Brush the insides and outsides of the shells with butter or margarine. Place the shells, cut sides up, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake uncovered until edges are brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook and stir ground turkey in a 10-inch skillet until brown. Then drain. Stir in tomatoes and taco seasoning mix. Break up tomatoes. Heat to boiling. Then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Spoon ground turkey mixture into potato shells. Then sprinkle with cheese. Heat potatoes in an oven to melt the cheese on top. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with green onions or scallions.

A tip that can be done ahead: Bake potatoes and prepare shells. Cover and refrigerate no longer than 24 hours. Bake potato shells as directed.

Beef in Potato Shells: Substitute 1 pound of ground beef for the pound of ground turkey. Chicken in Potato Shells: Substitute 2 cups of cut-up cooked chicken for the ground turkey or ground beef.

Suggestion of what can be done with leftover scoops of potatoes:

Potato Croquettes

2 eggs 1 cup mashed potatoes Â1/2 cup of freshly made bread crumbs 4 tablespoons flour Â1/4 cup canola or olive oil

Put the potato into a bowl and lightly beat one of the eggs. Add the egg to the potatoes and mix well. Shape the potato mixture into 4 balls. Cover and chill. Beat the remaining egg lightly. Dip the potato balls into the flour. Shake off any excess and dip into the egg and then into the crumbs. Place on a piece of wax paper. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the balls and let them heat and brown for several minutes. Turn the balls and brown on all sides. Keep the croquettes warm in a 300 degree oven until all are ready, then serve immediately.

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About The Author, Michael Russell
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