|Twice Baked Potato: simply delicious comfort food|
My son requested ramen noodles and smoothies for his birthday dinner, but I thought our guests deserved something a little more satisfying and mature than that. So they're getting grilled tri-tip chunks (I need to post that recipe too...), twice baked potatoes, fresh Iowa sweet corn, and ramen noodles & smoothies.
I love twice baked potatoes because of all of the flavors and textures involved. I mean, I love potatoes almost any way you can prepare them, but these have so much going on: creamy, salty, stretchy, chewy, crisp, browned. Some people just eat the filling with these, but I get a fork & knife and eat the WHOLE thing. Mmmmm...they're so good, I often eat the left overs for breakfast.
I've been meaning to post this recipe for some time, but as with most "regular food" recipes, I don't cook with exact measurements, as I do when I bake. Even what you see below is a guesstimate, so make adjustments as needed. If you try these and see that my measurements seem WAY off, please leave a comment, and I will revise.
Twice Baked Potatoes
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4-1/2 cup milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4-6 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into about 1/4-inch chunks
- 2 green onion, rinsed, dried, and sliced (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Scrub, trim, and poke potatoes. Bake at 400°F for about 1 hour, or until they give when you squeeze them with an oven-mitted hand.
3. While potatoes bake, prepare the cheese and the green onions.
4. When potatoes are done, remove them from the oven with an oven mitt. Using a serrated knife, slice each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out insides with a spoon, making sure you leave about 1/8 of an inch of potato in each skin, and place potato innards in a mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid for this). If you scoop too close to the skin, it will rip. Turn oven down to 375°F.
5. Place skins in a casserole dish, cookie sheet, or glass pan. Salt & pepper potatoes and mix with a mixer on low speed until potatoes are broken up. Add butter, sour cream, and 1/4 cup milk. Mix on low to medium until potatoes are relatively smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl as needed. If the potatoes seem really thick, add more milk. Taste the potatoes & re-season with salt & pepper, if needed. Mix in cheese chunks and sliced green onion.
6. Fill potato skins with enough potato mixture to go about 1/4 inch above the rim of the potato skin. I do not smooth the tops here, because I like how the rough peaks and valleys brown and crisp upon the second baking. Return filled potatoes to your baking dish/pan.
7. Bake at 375°F for about 20-30 minutes, or until they are puffed and begin to brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Even then, they will be boiling lava hot, so proceed with caution.
|Puffed, browned, and ready.|
Makes 4-8 servings, depending on how much you enjoy these.