September 10, 2013

The Best Twice Baked Potatoes

The Best Twice Baked Potatoes
The Absolute BEST Twice Baked Potatoes
Some things just go together: yin & yang, Batman & Robin, skull & bones, Hall & Oates and of course, meat & potatoes.  Even though I’m limiting my carbs (okay, okay, TRYING to limit. Sheesh.), every once in a while, I just need a steak and an honest to goodness potato (the steak and marinade recipe are coming up tomorrow).  And when I’m going all in with a potato, I’m going to go All. IN. ON. A. POTATO.  And that means mixing the baked fluffy insides of potatoes with creamy good things and using shameless amounts of cheese to blanket it all.  Oh yeah.

Now, let’s be honest here.  You probably know how to make twice baked potatoes already so I’m not going to blow your mind here with this recipe.  As a matter of fact, it’s not really a “real” recipe at all.  It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that and, um, a lot of cheese.  But simple, basic recipes like this are really the cornerstone of my cooking and I think they are definitely blog-worthy.  I can make all kinds of fancy things but at the end of the meltdown day, it’s unfussy goodness like these that make me (and my guests/family) the happiest.   Hopefully, you’ll find a little something in these twice baked potatoes that you’ll think is worthy enough to add to your own beloved recipe.  The measurements I’ve given are really just guidelines. I plop, slug, dollop and sprinkle until it tastes just right. 

He's practicing his Jedi Mind Trick.

Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 baking potatoes (try and get 4 that are uniform in size so they cook at the same time)
5 pieces of bacon, cooked to your liking (I bake mine at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Perfect bacon every time and very little mess. I start checking after 8 mins as the cooking time varies based on fat content.)
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of butter, diced or sliced into pats
¼ - ½ cup milk, lower fat (2%) is fine and what I normally use
¼ - ½ cup low-fat sour cream
1 cup + ½ cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced into small pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Tony Chachere’s or your fave seasoned salt – Really, this seems optional but for me, it’s not. It’s mandatory. 

Directions:
 Preheat oven to 400°.  Wash and scrub up the potatoes.  Place directly an oven rack (placed in the center of the oven) and cook until tender, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour + 15 minutes.  It varies based on their size and how awesome your oven is.

Once the potatoes are cooked, carefully and with a potholder or dishtowel, hold each potato and slice long ways in half.   Once they’re all halved, gently scoop out the insides and place into a large bowl.  This can be the tricky part because you want all the potato you can possibly scoop but going to deep can cause a tear in the skin and also make the spud boats a little flimsy.  It’s a fine line, my friend.

Lower the oven to 375°.

So now you've got all the insides scooped and the potatoes are all nicely placed on a baking sheet or Pyrex dish and waiting patiently to be filled. I actually use the same baking sheet that I baked my bacon on.  Because then, those potato boats are sitting in BACON DELICIOUSNESS as they cook. Shutitup.

Add the butter to the potato insides and mix lightly to combine.  As you add your goodies to the spud fluff, you really want to mix completely but with a light hand in order to keep the mixture fluffy and go all dense and gummy on ya.

Add some salt and pepper.  If you are using seasoned salt as well (and you ARE, right?!?) then please, by all means, go easy on the regular salt. You still need it but just be wary that you are adding salt in the TC’s and with the cheese.  You can always add more at the end.

Add the seasoned salt.  Taste! 

Add the milk and combine.  This is your first layer of creaminess.  It should really just make the spud fluff a little creamy.  The real umphh will come from the sour cream, which you should add now.  Mix well.

Add one cup of the cheese.  Add most of the green onion and 4 pieces of the bacon.  Stir well and taste.  If it needs more seasoning, add it now!

Spoon the potato mixture into the skins and then top with the half cup of cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and just the way you like it.


Once cooked, top with the remaining green onion pieces and crumbled bacon.  Eat immediately.  Like you weren't anyway.

5 comments:

  1. I love twice baked potatoes and so does my family. I fix it a lot of times for the football games. Visiting from Anyonita Nibbles.

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi Nancy - thanks so much for the kind words and for stopping by!

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  3. Real Appetizing look.. love to make and eat this delicious baked potatoes..
    http://www.neworleansbarandgrill.com/food/baked-potato

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