Stuffed Potato Shells

This recipe from the actress Nanette Newman is a perfect summer lunch for six people. The potatoes are twice baked, thus making crisp shells. The filling should be added at the last moment, otherwise the shells will become soggy.


  • 6 large potatoes
  • 2 oz (50 g) melted butter for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons chives

For the Cottage Cheese Filling

  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • A few spring onions, sliced
  • 2 large dessert apples, peeled and chopped
  • 4 oz (110 g) walnuts or salted peanuts
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz (350 g) cottage cheese

For the Vegetable Filling

  • 8 oz (225 g) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 smallish courgettes, sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ pint (150 ml) soured cream


Bake the potatoes in their jackets in a moderately hot oven (gas mark 6/400°F/200°C) for about an hour or until they are cooked through. Leave them to cool slightly, then cut each one in half and scoop out the middle using a small spoon.

Leave a fairly thick skin, then brush the shells with melted butter, both inside and out, and place them on a baking tray. Put them back in the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until the shells are really crisp.

For the cottage cheese filling mix together the chopped celery, spring onions and apples with the nuts, a good sprinkling of nutmeg, seasoning to taste and the cottage cheese.

For the vegetable filling mix together the mushrooms and courgettes, the onion and the soured cream.

Shortly before eating, fill six of the shells with the cottage cheese filling and six with the vegetable filling. Sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Potatoes are an important food source in at least 128 of the world’s 173 nations.