Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not half-baked. Twice-baked.

Tonight, my love/hate relationship with the potato evolves. E's allergy to wheat has really put a cramp in my anti-potato style, and you know what has been happening? Shh... don't tell anyone, but I'm actually starting to like potatoes. Dang. I didn't want to, but it happened. Once you take a look at this recipe, you'll know why.


Twice-baked potatoes
reposted from SimplyRecipes.com

Ingredients
* 4 large russet potatoes, about a pound each
* Olive oil
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 Tbsp butter, softened
* 1 Tbsp cream


Cheddar and bacon version
* 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
* 4 strips bacon
* 1/4 cup chopped green onion


Blue cheese and chives version
* 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
* 1/2 teaspoon salt


Method
1 Bake the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the potatoes clean under running water. Poke each potato in several places with the tines of a fork so that when the potatoes are cooking they don't explode. Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. Place directly on the middle or top rack of the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. They should give a little when pressed.

If short on time you can bake the potatoes in the microwave, 10 minutes on high heat for 2 potatoes, 15 minutes for 4 potatoes. The skins of microwave baked potatoes aren't nearly as crispy, so you may want to rub a little olive oil on them and finish them in a conventional oven at 400°F for 10 minutes.


2 If you are including bacon as one of your mix-ins, while the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.

3 Allow the potatoes to cool to touch. Slice the top third lengthwise off the potato. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides, forming a potato "canoe", leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the skin.

Alternatively you can slice the potatoes in half, lengthwise. In this case you may want to bake an extra potato so that you will have more potato filling to mound into the potato boats.

4 Place the scooped out potato insides, sour cream, milk, cream, and butter into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. If you want a creamy texture, beat with an electric beater until desired consistency. Note, do not over-beat potatoes, they can turn glue-y.

5 Mix in the extras with the potatoes. Reserve some of the extras to sprinkle on the tops of the potatoes. Spoon fillings into the potato shells. Sprinkle with extra toppings.

6 Heat oven to 350°F. Place potatoes on a roasting pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.

Serves 4 to 6.

...

I couldn't decide, so I made a double batch of each version. Yummers. I don't think I can pick a favorite, but I can say that either way my life has been changed for the better. I like the tang of the blue cheese, and I like the comfort-food feel of the cheddar and bacon. Yum. I hope you make some. I'm going to start making them all the time and bringing them everywhere I go like I invented the freaking potato.

~Potato Dawg

3 comments:

  1. The bacon and cheddar were divine, you're welcome to pop by any time with a batch-we'll gladly proclaim you inventor of all things tuberific.
    JLR

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  2. You didn't used to like potatoes? Weirdo.

    Mmmm. I love potatoes. And now I'm craving them. Even though it's not lunch time for me yet.

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  3. No, I think it was a combination of the smell of baking potatoes and the mushy consistency. I have a texture problem with bananas too. I'm learning to eat them though... trying to be a grownup about it. Sorta.

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