When I was in college, one of my favorite dinners was a version of this-- I'd bake a potato (at really high heat so that the skin became brown and crunchy--but that's just me), sauté some onions and spinach, grate some cheese, and when the potato was baked, mix it all together with the potato flesh and some sour cream or yogurt. This is the casserole version that can be served at dinner. (The crunchy skin is the cook's treat.) But if you're feeling all 1970's, you could cut bake the potatoes gently, halve them and carefully scoop out the flesh, make the casserole, and then stuff the potato skins and top them with cheese for the final baking. (If you want to throw a little crisp bacon in there, that's ok, too, but you may have to wear a long flowy dress or bell bottoms and part your hair in the middle.) —drbabs
4 can be multiplied
Large Idaho potatoes, scrubbed
Leeks, washed well and chopped into 1 inch pieces, white and light green parts only
very sharp cheddar cheese, grated
baby spinach, rough chopped
Fresh thyme leaves, or other herb of your choice, finely chopped
Bake potato in 400 degree oven for about an hour, until the the potato flesh is soft and cooked through.
Saute leeks in olive oil with salt and pepper until they are softened and somewhat caramelized. Add spinach and continue to saute till spinach is wilted. Place in casserole dish with butter, about 3/4 of the cheese, herbs, and yogurt or creme fraiche if using.
Scoop potato flesh into casserole. ( Reserve skin as desired to eat separately.) Mix well, but quickly so that potato doesn't become gummy. Taste and season as desired. Top with reserved cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes till warmed through and cheese on top is bubbly and slightly browned.