Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice-Baked Potatoes
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twice baked potatoes
Not much harder than baked potatoes, but twice as good!

Okay, we should’ve posted this before Thanksgiving so you could’ve made them for the big day (although we just made them up for an ordinary dinner, not for a special occasion). If you’re disappointed that you couldn’t get this recipe in time for the holiday, you could try seeking a refund. If that doesn’t work, keep these in mind for the next big holiday coming up.

Twice baked potatoes are really pretty easy. Simply bake potatoes, slice in half, scoop out the insides to mash with some cheese, then refill the potato shells and bake until heated through. It really doesn’t need a recipe, but we’ll put up one, anyway. This recipe doesn’t come from anywhere, or perhaps you could say it comes from everywhere that we’ve had twice-baked potatoes. Or, basically, we made it up.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Yield: 2 servings

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 large ()about 8 ounces each) baking potatoes, Russets preferred
  • Olive oil, for coating
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) grated cheese
  • About 1/4 cup milk, half-and-half, or cream
  • Smoked paprika, for dusting

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Scrub potatoes well. Rub with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pierce potatoes in a few places to let steam escape. Place on a baking sheet and bake until potatoes are easily pierced with a thin skewer, about 60 minutes.

Remove from oven and slice in half lengthwise to let steam escape and cool. When cool enough to handle with a hot pad, use a spoon and carefully scoop the insides from the potatoes and into a bowl, leaving about 1/8 inch-thick shell.

Add cheese to the potato filling and use a fork to mash in. Add dairy product as needed until the potato filling is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer potato filling to a piping bag fitted with a half-inch star tip. Fill potato shells, sprinkle with paprika, and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until heated through and browned in spots.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2016/11/twice-baked-potatoes-2/

Ingredient discussion:

Recipes like this have a lot of leeway. You can change the potato filling any way you want, from the cheese you use (we used a sharp white Cheddar), to adding things such as diced chives, or sour cream. Let your taste buds and what’s available in your refrigerator guide you. We do suggest (although we didn’t follow our own suggestion) that you use organic potatoes, since you’ll be eating the potato skins.

Procedure in detail:

Preheat oven to 400°F. When we bake potatoes, we like to make a small baking pan from aluminum foil. It keeps cleanup to a minimum.

preparing potatoes for baking
Rubbing with oil ensures that the skins will be crispy, and it never hurts to add a bit of spice.

Oil and season. Our foil baking pan at the ready, we drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, pick each up and rub it in, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. The oil will make sure the skin becomes crispy, the spices help flavor it, and the foil pan can be tossed afterward. Pierce the potatoes with a fork in a few spots to let steam escape.

Bake. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake until a thin skewer easily slides into the potatoes, about 60 minutes. The skin will have become crispy, so you might find that it’s hard to start the skewer, but, once through the skin, it should slip right in. Remove the potatoes, but leave the oven on.

baked potatoes
Be careful when slicing to let the steam escape. Steam burns hurt!
hollowed out potatoes
We leave a bit of potato attached to the skins; it’s easier to leave them intact that way.

Slice and cool. Use a sharp knife to slice the potatoes in half lengthwise to let steam escape and start cooling. Once cool enough to handle with a hot pad, use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the potatoes, taking care to leave the skins intact. Place the insides into a bowl as you work.

mashing potatoes
We went with a bit of cheese and dairy, but feel free to add whatever you like on baked potatoes.

Mash filling. Add the cheese to the potato filling and mash to incorporate. The cheese should melt as you work, but don’t work the potatoes too much, or they’ll become a gooey mass. As you work, add the dairy product of your choice until you have mashed potatoes that are stiff, but smooth. They need to be stiff enough to hold their shape.

making twice baked potatoes
We figured that we’d pipe the potato filling back in. It looks a bit nicer.

Pipe. Transfer the potato filling to a piping bag fitted with a large (1/2 inch)  star tip — we didn’t have that large a tip, so we had to fill our potatoes with several passes of the piping bag — and pipe the potatoes back into the skins. Sprinkle with paprika for a contrast, if desired.

Bake. Back into the oven for about 30 minutes, or long enough to heat the potatoes all the way through and brown them in spots.

Easy, easy, easy. It takes 10 minutes to mash the insides of the potatoes and put the filling back. We used a piping bag (disposable) to refill the skins, but scooping with a spoon is allowed, too. Either way, you’ll have baked potatoes (which are already delicious), and mashed potatoes (yummy, too) in the same dish. How can you go wrong? But, it does take over an hour and a half to go from raw potatoes to the table, so we’ll say four stars. Agree?

Worth the trouble?

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