Instructions: * Note: Wasabi is a greenish Japanese horseradish found in specialty and Asian markets in two forms: ready-to-use paste in a tube or powder in small tins. To use the powder, you make it into a smooth paste with water, as youd do with dry mustard. The ready-to-use paste has a slightly sharper flavor and a deeper green color, and its my preference in these recipes.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray the potatoes with cooking spray. Bake the potatoes until theyre tender (test them with the sharp point of a paring knife), about 1 hour. Alternatively, cook them in a microwave oven on high power for 6 minutes, then bake them in a 400 degree oven until theyre tender and the skins are crisp, about 15 minutes more. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, split them lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving about a 1/4-inch shell. Place the scooped potato in a bowl.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. When its hot, stir in the garlic and green onion. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the butter to the potatoes along with the wasabi paste, sour cream, salt, pepper to taste and 1/2 cup cheese. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the ingredients together; keep the mixture slightly lumpy. Taste; adjust the seasoning.
Divide the mixture among the 4 potato shells, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the remaining cheese. Use your hands to gently press the cheese into place. Place the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. (They can be made a few hours ahead up to this point and kept at room temperature.)
Bake until tops are just lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Serve hot. Serve these potatoes with any simply broiled or roasted meat or poultry.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
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