Makin’ A Potato, Bakin’ It Twice

I had to call my parents after I ate this. For 21 years they served me dinner and not once did they dish up a potato this grand. Sure, there were spuds. Mashed, oven roasted, french fried, and hashed. But never a crisp skinned boat filled with fluffy mashed potatoes and sour cream, melted sharp cheddar and smoked bacon. I have a feeling it’s going to take years of counseling to reconcile the injustices of our dinner table. At least I know where to forward the bills.

If your family was similarly neglectful, I suggest you do the same. Make a potato and bake it twice, that is. Similar to potato skins, these starchy browns have a crispy crunchy shell, but with a rich, creamy center. And the truth of the matter is: bubbling cheese and bits of salty bacon could make a cardboard box taste like manna from heaven.

Twice baked potatoes are satisfying enough to enjoy one half as the side dish to your meal. But you might consider just eating both and calling it a day. I support that.

Tonight I’m heading out for a big birthday bash. A celebration of a dear friend’s twenty fifth year. I think the prescription for living up the quarter lifemark should be this: spend the day doing all of the activities you love, gather all of your friends for a lavish, utterly delicious, dinner at a restaurant where you’re not the one footing the bill, then spend the remaining hours til the bell strikes twelve in a venue that allows for dancing, laughing, and all things debaucherous. Take two and call me in the morning.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Twice Baked Potatoes

(makes 2 stuffed halves)

  • 1 large russet potato, washed and dried
  • 1-2 tsp canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or a blend of cheddar and monterey jack)
  • 2 TBSP sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped scallions

Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the potato for 1 hour, until it gives slightly when you press the sides. When you remove the potato from the oven, raise the oven heat to 450°.

When it is cool enough to handle, slice the potato in half lengthwise.

Use a spoon to scoop out the inside, leaving a 1/4″ border all the way around.

Brush the insides and outsides of the potato halves with the canola oil.

Place the halves, cut side down, on a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake them at 450° for 10 minutes. Now flip them so they are cut side up and bake for another 10 minutes.

While the potatoes are in the oven, fry the bacon in a small pan set over medium heat until crisp- about 5 minutes per side. Drain the slices on a paper towel-lined plate when they are finished frying and then dice them finely.

In a small bowl, mash the insides of the potato with a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and the sour cream.

When the potatoes are sufficiently crisp, remove them from the oven and fill each half with the mashed mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, the diced bacon, and place back in the oven for two minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

Garnish with fresh chopped scallions or chives.

Comments

  1. says

    The only time I tried to make twice-baked potatoes I could not get them to stay filled properly-they turned out messy, but good.

  2. says

    We never had these as a kid either. We may need to form a group over this! I made potato skins for my boys a while back and they were in heaven! I will have to not make the same mistakes my parents made and make these for my boys! Have a great weekend!

  3. says

    I used to make twice baked potatoes for my family every Sunday with our meal after lunch when I lived at home. I used a Rachael Ray recipe – it was actually one of the first shows I ever watched on Food Network. That recipe called for smoked gruyere. Omg, so creamy and smoky and amazing!! You should try that cheese out in your potatoes some time. I promise you’ll love it!! :)

  4. says

    Holy balls. I’m sorry to be so blunt but I am just sitting here with my mouth gaping wide open (and hoping drool doesnt come out)

    That is one epic potato. I would love to try this but I could see it easily becoming an obsession.

  5. says

    OMG. Must make these tonight. My aunt just bought a huge box of potatoes. A whole carton of them! And amen to this: “bubbling cheese and bits of salty bacon could make a cardboard box taste like manna from heaven”. I can eat my own liver if it has bubbling cheese and salty bacon!

  6. says

    i’ve never made twice baked potatoes before cause i’m so lazy sometimes but these seem totally worth it!

    hope you had a great time out tonight!

  7. says

    Oh yes. Twice baked potatoes rock. I’m glad you had a heart to heart with your fam about not introducing you to the awesomness they provide! 😉

  8. says

    It was the same thing in my house growing up — never once did we have a twice baked potato! I think I was a teenager the first time I had one, lol! Time to make up for lost time! 😉

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