Friday, October 14, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

Twice baked potatoes are amazing. Creamy, fluffy, salty and crunchy all at the same time. They go good with steak, chicken or with a side salad. They are very easy to make, and reheat well, even from frozen. Yesterday I made 10 potatoes worth so that I can freeze the leftovers and have them as a quick and delicious side dish anytime.


10 russet potatoes (the potatoes I used were small so increase other ingredients accordingly depending on size of potatoes used)
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sour cream
1/3 cup heaving whipping cream
1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 1/2 cup crispy bacon (or roughly two packages), chopped 
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt 
Fresh ground pepper

If you are feeling fancy try substituting crispy prosciutto for the bacon and diced chives instead of the green onions. This is a more gourmet version, just not cost effective. 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place butter, cream cheese and sour cream on counter to soften.

Start by washing and scrubbing your potatoes. Let dry completely. Pierce with fork 2x's on each side. Rub with olive oil and generously sprinkle salt and pepper all over (a lot will come off when handling the potatoes later). Do not wrap in foil. 

Place potatoes on the center of the middle rack in oven. Put a cookie sheet underneath to catch the juices and salt that will fall off. Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours depending on oven.  Potatoes should be soft and indentations should remain after squeezing them. 

Let cool for several minutes (to make handling easier). Cut potatoes in half so they look like little canoes. Using a spoon scrape out the insides of the potato into a large bowl containing sour cream, cream cheese and half the butter. Leave enough potato on skin so that it doesn't fall apart. 

In a small saute pan melt remainder of butter and saute minced garlic for about 30 seconds. Add to the rest of the potato mixture. 

Mash potatoes using a masher or large spoon. Mix ingredients well. Add cream. Using a mixer, mix on low for 30 second to a minute to make the potatoes fluffy. There should still be some lumps. 
Whatever you do, DO NOT OVER MIX. This can quickly give your potatoes a glue-like texture because it releases too much starch. 

Mixture should be thick enough to stay on spoon when held upside down.

Add 1 cup bacon, 1 cup cheese and 2/3 cup of chives to potato mixture. Fold in gently. Using a spoon,  fill potato shells until they are level. Sprinkle the remainder cheese, chive and bacon on top.

Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and they are slightly golden brown. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with ranch or sour cream.

Store in air tight container for up to three days. To freeze, wait until they are completely cool.  Place in freezer safe Tupperware, making sure to separate with wax paper if stacking. To reheat, use toaster oven or conventional oven on low heat (300 degrees F) for about 15-20 minutes. 

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