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.
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.