|Twice Baked Potatoes|
To be clear, it was not really all that many years ago that I made them for the first time, and then it was mainly because they were a request from my husband for a special occasion. He doesn't request things very often, so I decided it was time. As for a recipe - I will give one here below, but it is really more of what you happen to find interesting mixed with baked potato - and then implementing. It's kind of like making mashed potatoes. You can make them with butter and milk, as my Mom did, or you can get inventive and add all sorts of interesting things. These days, I usually make my mashed potatoes by first boiling them in water with at least a tablespoon of salt along with a couple of parsnips (peeled and cut into pieces smaller than the potato chunks). Then I scoop the cooked vegetables out of the liquid with a slotted spoon into a ricer (ensuring no lumps) over a bowl that already contains a mixture of cream cheese, butter and chopped scallion, or a mix of butter and Chevre cheese and scallions. Sometimes I substitute the scallions for caramelized onions. I have also occasion substituted one of the cheeses with Boursin Cheese, with rave reviews from guests. If liquid is needed, I use some of the potato cooking liquid still in the pot.
|Tomato Corer, great for scooping|
So, that all said, I have made them before, a few times. And I made them again for our New Year's Day feast a few days ago. I was serving a nice prime rib roast (without bones, so probably called something else: Rib-Eye Roast or Eye of Rib Roast, for example). My other side dish was my Green Beans with Gorgonzola. Since the roast was going to be made using a high temperature roasting that requires the oven door to stay shut for about 2 1/2 hours (see my New Year's Day blog), I decided to bake the potatoes early in the afternoon, then start the roast and leave it to do its thing. Once the roast was out of the oven, I would heat the oven again and bake the re-filled potatoes just before sitting down to eat. This timing worked perfectly. I am telling this sequence of events to make it clear that sometimes it is really to your advantage to make Twice Baked Potatoes.
|Scooped out potato skins|
Twice Baked Potatoes
3 large russet baking potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup scallions, chopped finely
3 slices (thick-sliced) bacon, fried and crumbled (about 1/2 to 2/3 cup, total)
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
Wash the potatoes well, dry them and set them into a preheated 400-degree oven for about 1 hour, or until baked through. Use a thin skewer or toothpick to ascertain if they are completely cooked through, inserting the skewer into the side of the potato. You do not want holes poked all over the skins, which you want as intact as possible.
|Re-filled Potatoes, before baking|
When ready to bake, preheat oven to about 350 or 375. Set the stuffed potato halves on a baking sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden on top and heated through. If the potatoes were previously refrigerated, it may take slightly longer baking time to compensate for how cold they were when started.
Add other ingredients if desired, or leave some out. This time I actually passed the potatoes through a ricer for a smoother effect, but a quick mashing with a fork is sufficient. They are so delicious, and this was a great way to time my dinner just right.
My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.