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updated: 5/15/2014 3:23 PM

Move over Mom: Potatoes plus pulled pork a filling treat

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  • Scoop out a baked (or grilled) potato to make room for pulled pork or barbecue chicken.

      Scoop out a baked (or grilled) potato to make room for pulled pork or barbecue chicken.
    Courtesy of Deborah Pankey

  • Three ingredients go into these yummy Barbecue Potato Skins. Serve your favorite sauce on the side for dipping.

       Three ingredients go into these yummy Barbecue Potato Skins. Serve your favorite sauce on the side for dipping.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
By Jerome Gabriel

Some people have called me a couch potato because I like to sit around playing video games, but being a potato isn't such a bad thing.

Potatoes are loaded with vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B3, and have potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.

I've always liked potatoes from mashed to french fries and in soup. One thing I did not know is that there are many types of potatoes. I thought there was just two, regular and sweet, but now I know there are three categories of potatoes: high starch, medium starch and low starch.

High-starch potatoes, like the big brownish-beige Russets, have a light-mealy texture and are good for baking and grilling, mashing and french frying, according to food scientist Harold McGee. Medium-starch potatoes, also called all-purpose potatoes, are more moist and hold their shape better when cooked. Yukon Golds are a medium-starch potato.

Low-starch potatoes, like red potatoes, are sometimes called waxy potatoes for their waxy texture; they hold their shape better than any other potato.

I used russet potatoes for my potato skins because that's what I saw in other recipes. They're easy enough to make and you can fill them with something you like. I like pulled pork, but you don't have to follow my recipe, except for the baking of the potatoes.

What we learned when making these that you should not bake the potatoes in a deep pan. Just put them in the oven on the oven rack so the heat gets all around and the potatoes cook evenly.

A word from Mom: This recipes combines two of Jerome's favorite foods: potatoes and pulled pork. Three foods, actually, if you include the cheese. This is a great recipe when you have leftover pulled pork (or shredded chicken or taco meat) but you've run out of buns. If you mound up the meat, one potato skin will fill you up. Skimp a bit on the meat, or cut them in half and they're a cookout appetizer for guests to enjoy while they wait for the rest of the meal.

• Jerome Gabriel, an eighth-grader, and has been helping in the kitchen since he could hold a spoon. His mother, Deborah Pankey, is the food editor at the Daily Herald.

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