November 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
One of my favorite comfort foods growing up was twice-baked potatoes. I’ve always loved carb-heavy food (pasta! bagels! cookies! om nom nom) and these awesome potatoes, with their insides all scooped out, mushed together with pretty much whatever deliciousness you want, and baked until the cheese is all melty, hit the spot every time. I hadn’t had them for years, but I asked my wonderful mother to send me her recipe so I could make them for myself. They were just as good as I’d remembered.
The great thing about this recipe, also, is that you can add in whatever you want. Cheese is sort of a necessity, but the scallions and bacon can be swapped out with pretty much anything that suits your fancy. Try broccoli or cauliflower, some onion, maybe a bell pepper, ham or turkey; throw in some red chili flakes if you want a little kick, or even chop up a chili or two and mix that in. Get creative!
2 large baking potatoes
1/4 c milk
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/8 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 c grated Cheddar cheese
4 scallions, chopped
3-4 pieces bacon, crumbled (optional, of course, if you want to go vegetarian!)
Preheat your oven to 375.
Scrub the potatoes but don’t peel them. Pierce with a fork a few times to let steam escape. Put them in the oven, either on a sheet of aluminum foil or in a greased casserole dish/pie plate.
Bake them until they are tender, usually between 1 and 1 1/4 hours. Mine took a little longer. You want them to give a little when you press them between your thumb and fingers (but careful you don’t burn yourself!).
Take them out of the oven and slice them in half lengthwise. A lot of steam will come out; let them cool for a couple of minutes before you handle them. Then scoop out their insides, leaving a thin shell, and mash up the flesh in a bowl until there are no lumps left.
At this point you will probably want to get your oven heating up to 400 for the second round of baking (see, they’re twice-baked potatoes, so you bake them two times!).
Add in the milk in small quantities, beating after each addition. The amount of milk you use will vary. You want to use enough to make the potatoes fluffy; I ended up using a bit under 1/4 cup. Add the butter, salt, and pepper, and beat well until the potatoes are light and somewhat airy. Stir in the cheese, scallions, and bacon (or whatever else you decided to put in!) and fill the potato shells with the mashed potato mixture.
Place the potatoes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Put them in your 400 degree oven. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re hot and melty.