Twice Baked Potatoes

These stuffed potatoes may be cooked either of two ways, with a Cheddar cheese and bacon filling, or with a blue cheese and chive filling. Either way they are delicious!

4 large Russet potatoes, about 12 oz. each
butter or olive oil (optional)
1/4 C. cream
1/2 C. sour cream
2 T. butter, softened

Cheddar Cheese & Bacon option:

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 strips bacon
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Blue Cheese & Chive option:

1 C. blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 C. fresh chives, chopped

Butter or oil the potatoes, poke each potato several times with a fork so the steam can get out, then bake at 425° for 40-60 minutes or until they give slightly when pressed. Or microwave 15 minutes on high for 4 potatoes, 10 minutes for 2 potatoes. (The skins don't come out as good when you nuke them.)

Allow the potatoes to cool, then cut them open and remove the pulp, preserving the skins which should be about 1/4 inch thick. You can either cut off the top fourth, or cut in half horizontally for two servings per potato. If the latter, you may wish to bake an extra potato to provide more filling.

If making the bacon option, cook the bacon. Start out by putting the bacon in a cold skillet and cook over medium low heat until the bacon begin to crisp, then drain on paper towels and press more paper towels on top to remove as much grease as possible, then crumble.

Place the potato pulp plus cream, sour cream and butter in a bowl. Also add the optional ingredients you have chosen, reserving a portion for use as a topping. Mix with a spoon but don't go overboard. A perfectly smooth blending is neither necessary nor desired.

Bake the stuffed potatoes at 350° for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned but not burned. Serves 4-6.

Credit: Inspired by Simply Recipes - Elise Bauer.

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

This casserole recipe was adapted from Emeril Lagasse as appearing on ABC's Good Morning America (original recipe). As you can see, the ingredients are virtually the same as the recipes above. One thing: do NOT mash everything up into a fine paste. Repeat, leave the mixture roughly mixed, don't mix it too much!

10 lg. Russet potatoes (about 7 lb.)
8 T. (1 stick) plus 1 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. heavy cream
2 t. salt
1½ t. black pepper, freshly ground
12 oz. bacon
8 oz. sharp white Cheddar cheese, cubed 1/2"
12 oz. mild Cheddar cheese, grated (~3 C.)
1/2 C. green onions, finely chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Wash the potatoes and poke each potato several times with a fork so the steam can get out, then bake at 425° for 40-60 minutes, or until they give slightly when pressed. Allow to cool.

Cook the bacon. Start out by putting the bacon in a cold skillet and cook over medium low heat until the bacon begin to crip, then drain on paper towels and press more paper towels on top to remove as much grease as possible, then crumble.

Cut each potato in half and scoop out all the pulp into a large mixing bowl. Discard the skins, or alternately, chop them up and add them to the dish for a rustic version. Add the stick of butter, sour cream, heavy cream, salt and pepper, and mash until chunky-smooth. Add the bacon, cubed white Cheddar cheese, half of the grated Cheddar cheese, green onions and eggs, then mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed, but try to leave it sort of chunky.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with the remaining 1 T. of butter, then add the potato mixture. Top it with the remaining grated cheese and place it in the oven, then immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375°. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it bubbles around the edges and the cheese on top is melted and lightly golden. Makes 12 servings.

Credit: Emeril Lagasse.

Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

6 potatoes
butter or oil
3-4 T. butter
2 T. onion, grated
3 T. milk
2 egg whites
1½ C. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 t. salt
paprika
1 t. horseradish (see text)

Butter or oil the potatoes and bake at 425° for 40-60 minutes. Cut open and remove pulp, preserving the skins. Sauté onion in butter, add salt and milk, then fold it into the pulp. Whip egg whites until stiff and fold into the pulp. Mix in most of the grated cheese, then fill the skins with the pulp mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and top with a sprinkling of paprika. Broil under low heat until the cheese is melted, then serve. Serves 6.

If serving with fish, to provide a bit of piquancy, add horseradish to the sauté just before mixing it into the pulp.

Credit: Inspired by Joy of Cooking cookbook.

Filed under Side Dishes   Tagged signature, vegetables