Saturday, February 20, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple in many kitchens but sometimes they can be bland and boring. I know I often make mashed potatoes or baked potatoes to serve as a starch to a meal. However, making twice baked potatoes combines the creaminess of mashed potatoes with the presentation of baked potatoes. My friend Rich prepared the following recipe which is a great way to experiment with other ingredients in the future.

- You can prepare the recipe as is or incorporate other ingredients such as leftover vegetables - mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.

- If you don't have Parmesan cheese, try a different one like shredded cheddar, creamy goat cheese, crumbled feta, etc - so many endless and delicious options!

- If you like spices or herbs, mix in a bit of various spices or herbs you have on hand for a new twist on flavor.

- You can even substitute the bacon with ham, pepperoni or make it meatless altogether.

Twice Baked Potatoes
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins.

To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese, the thyme and chives. Mix by hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, crumbled bacon and b
ake for another 15 minutes.