Sunday, February 22, 2009

Twice Baked Potato

There are very few foods I love as much as the humble potato. My mother famously once told me that "If you keep eating so much potato, you will start looking like a potato." Sage advice indeed but sometimes I just have to have a baked potato slathered in butter and salt. Twice baked potatoes, of course, are even better. There are endless variations of ingredients you can throw into a twice backed potato -- my constants are butter, light cream, salt, and some sort of cheese. The Simply Recipes site has some good ideas. For the potatoes pictured in this post, I used freshly grated parmesan cheese (my husband's brilliant idea) and turkey bacon. The trick to light fluffy potatoes, is to bake the potatoes for at least an hour with a light rubbing of olive oil and salt. The salt draws out the moisture and the skin gets somewhat crispy. I used to get impatient and underbake the potatoes, which just results in potatoes that refuse to mash well and end up gluey. The recipe below is based on Elises's recipe but I don't include exact measurements for some of the ingredients below as they will vary by taste.

Twice Baked Potatoes


2 large Russet potatoes
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese
light cream
2 - 3 strips turkey bacon


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash and scrub the potatoes and dry with a paper towel. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork. Rub with a little olive oil and sprinkle all over with kosher salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for at least an hour and until the potatoes are cooked through.

2. In the meantime, heat the turkey bacon strips over medium heat until crispy. Crumble and set aside.

3. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool somewhat for easy handling. Lower oven temperature to 350°F. Cut off top third of each potato. Scoop out insides but leave about 1/4 inch of potato all around so the potatoes hold their shape.

4. Mash the insides of the potatoes with light cream, salt, 3/4 of grated parmesan cheese, and 2/3 of the crumbled bacon. Add the ingredients to taste and don't overmix as the potato will get gluey.

5. Scoop the mashed potatoes back into the potato skins and top each with remaining turkey bacon crumbles and parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

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