Food & Swine

Twice Baked Potatoes

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These potatoes go perfectly with any spread you can imagine.  They are creamy, flavorful and flat out delicious. They are pretty fancy too, and you can make them ahead of time and finish baking them off right before dinner.  Winner.  I made these for my sister’s birthday which took place a few days before I went under the knife.  So I had this recipe and it’s photos in the ‘hopper’ so I would have something to work on while I was ‘recovering’.

It has been a bit since I made my last post.  Recovering from this minor surgery (who ever told me this was minor will be getting a call, soon) has been a little tougher than I’d thought. Surgery is different, for me I guess… for sure. I should have put more time into preparing myself for what actually goes on after surgery, ie: recovery.  Glad I didn’t know most of the surgery details in advance, how I’d react to drugs etc.  I’m most happy that it is over.  Happy meaning: delighted, elated, freaking pleased as hell that it is all over.  I am lucky to have my family around to help and care for me and take care of my kids too. Thank you thank you thank you.

On with the cooking! *Full recipe at the end of the post.

Here are the ingredients:  Most of these are pantry staples of mine… sweet!

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Choose your potatoes wisely (6-8 of them).  Russet or Yukon Gold, please.

Russet potatoes have more starch, they will make your potatoes nice and fluffy when you go to fill them.  Yukon Gold potatoes are just lovely, flavorful and have the perfect balance of textures between the starch of a Russet and the ‘wax-y’ texure (for lack of better terminology) of say, a red skinned potato.

Wash each potato and then prick holes in your potatoes with a fork, pierce into their skin at least 1/8″, do this 8-10 times on each potato.  (Tough work!)

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Now rub each potato with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt.

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Pretty little things.  Now bake these in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 1 hour, until tender.  (Stick a paring knife into the hot potato, if it slides off without resistance, they are done. This trick won’t work with a serrated knife, ok?)

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Let the potatoes cool a bit so you can handle them. Now you need to scoop out the flesh of the potatoes.  Leave a border of flesh (seen below) so your potato skin will have something to make it sturdy and hold it up when  you fill it.  Scoop the flesh into a separate bowl.

To the flesh of the potatoes, add 1 1/2 C shredded cheese, 1 C sour cream (I use French onion flavored), 1/2 block (4 oz) of cream cheese and 4 chopped scallions.

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Next and most important, season this mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

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Here’s my little trick to get the soft consistency I like in my twice baked potatoes.  Add some half and half.  A couple of splashes did the trick for me. The amount you use will depend on the moisture level of your potatoes.  FYI.  And I will say I like the mixture to be quite soft (think soft mashed potatoes) so when it bakes the finished product will be moist and creamy, not overly thick or dry because you are re-baking these potatoes again.

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Lastly, return the mixture to the shells, you can pipe it fancy like me (which totally doesn’t matter) or just scoop it back in.  Then have your daughter sprinkle cheese over the tops of any potato she sees fit.  Bake these an additional 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.

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All done… this picture was taken out on our deck when the daylight was dissipating into thin air.  Yes, we are re-staining it (the deck) this year.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

By Cristen   www.foodandswine.com

6-8 Russet potatoes (medium size, not too big.  If using large potatoes, use 4)

Olive Oil

Salt

4 scallions chopped

4 slices of cooked bacon, chopped

2 C shredded cheese (cheddar or Colby Jack) divided

1 – 1 1/2 C sour cream (I used French onion flavor)

1/2 block of cream cheese (4 oz.)

Half and Half (use enough to get a smooth consistency in final mixture.  *1/4-1/2 C

ground black pepper

Clean and pierce potatoes.  Rub with oil, sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 400 for 1 hour.  Remove, let cool 5 minutes.  Cut in half.  Scoop out flesh into separate bowl.  Add scallions, bacon, 1 1/2 C shredded cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, half and half and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir until mixture is well combined (add more half and half if needed).  Place mixture evenly back into potato skins. Top with additional shredded cheese. Bake at 400 for an additional 25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.  Serve warm.  Makes 14-16 servings.

*You may freeze the baked and refilled shells in a freezer bag up to 1 month.  Bake frozen potatoes at 350 for 50 minutes, place cheese on top after one hour, bake an additional 20-30 minutes until baked throughout.

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7 Comments

  • Reply Heidy L. McCallum March 17, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Yummy

  • Reply Twice Baked Potatoes | Love. Cook. Study. March 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm

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  • Reply Lois March 19, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Good luck with your recovery.
    I have enjoyed the recipes but your take on farm life.
    I grew up in Iowa

    Love the state fair

    • Reply Cristen March 19, 2014 at 2:19 am

      Thank you so much Lois! I love the Fair too!

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