Sometimes deciding what to make for dinner comes starts with the inspiration of just one ingredient. A friend of mine sent us some wonderful blue cheese this week and my father decided that he wanted to make twice baked potatoes with it. Neither one of us has made stuffed potatoes in a while, so we ended up experimenting over several days with various combinations. We settled on two, one a classic twice-baked potato mashed with some combination of sour cream, milk, and butter, and mixed in with crumbled bacon, green onions, and grated cheddar cheese. The other combination uses our blue cheese with some chopped chives. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s wonderfully flexible. The amounts shown are a guideline, but really it’s up to your own imagination and taste. We like a creamy and fluffy potato stuffing, so we add cream and beat the potatoes with a hand mixer. Any combination of topping ingredients will do.
Do you have a favorite twice-baked potato recipe? If so, please let us know in the comments.
Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe
- 4 large russet potatoes, about a pound each
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp cream
Cheddar and bacon version
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 4 strips bacon
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
Blue cheese and chives version
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Bake the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the potatoes clean under running water. Poke each potato in several places with the tines of a fork so that when the potatoes are cooking they don't explode. Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. Place directly on the middle or top rack of the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. They should give a little when pressed.
If short on time you can bake the potatoes in the microwave, 10 minutes on high heat for 2 potatoes, 15 minutes for 4 potatoes. The skins of microwave baked potatoes aren't nearly as crispy, so you may want to rub a little olive oil on them and finish them in a conventional oven at 400°F for 10 minutes.
2 If you are including bacon as one of your mix-ins, while the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.
3 Allow the potatoes to cool to touch. Slice the top third lengthwise off the potato. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides, forming a potato "canoe", leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the skin.
Alternatively you can slice the potatoes in half, lengthwise. In this case you may want to bake an extra potato so that you will have more potato filling to mound into the potato boats.
4 Place the scooped out potato insides, sour cream, milk, cream, and butter into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. If you want a creamy texture, beat with an electric beater until desired consistency. Note, do not over-beat potatoes, they can turn glue-y.
5 Mix in the extras with the potatoes. Reserve some of the extras to sprinkle on the tops of the potatoes. Spoon fillings into the potato shells. Sprinkle with extra toppings.
6 Heat oven to 350°F. Place potatoes on a roasting pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.