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cheesy twice-baked potatoes

June 15, 2013

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This post is dedicated to my cousins Renee and Justin.

They love twice-baked potatoes like Congress loves spending money we don’t have.

Anyway, the nice thing about this recipe is that even though I am going to give you measurements for the ingredients below, you can blow me off and improvise and they’ll still be delicious. This is actually more of a tutorial than a recipe. There’s just a few tips I’ll mention.

Here’s the first one: Using a fork or sharp knife, poke the potatoes all over. About 8 times per potato. I’ve never actually seen an un-poked potato explode in the oven, but my mom said it could happen. And honestly, it just takes a few seconds to pierce the potato, which seems like a lot less time than it would take to clean a potato-filled oven.

Bake potatoes at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour, or until they can be pierced easily with a fork. While still hot, hold the potatoes with an oven mitt, slice them in half, and scoop the insides into a stand mixer bowl. Reserve skins.

Here’s another tip: put a few slices of butter and the grated cheese in the bottom of the mixing bowl before adding the hot potatoes. That will make the butter and cheese start melting immediately so everything will combine better. On that note, ignore the picture below. I forgot to add everything before. C’est la vie.

Mix until smooth, about 2 minutes at medium speed. Add the seasonings and sour cream and mix just until incorporated. Spoon mixture back into reserved potato skins.

Third tip: Be creative! Experiment with different mix-ins! You can add chopped green onions, chives, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, chopped steamed broccoli, or crumbled bacon to potato mixture before stuffing.

potatoes

Now you have two options:

1. Freeze ’em! Once they are filled, you can stick them on a cookie sheet and in your freezer for a few hours until they are frozen through. Then put them all in a ziplock and pull them out as needed. When you’re ready to cook them again, let them defrost on the counter before baking.

2. Sprinkle the remaining cup of grated cheddar cheese on the potatoes before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Twice-Baked Potatoes

8 Idaho russet potatoes
1 stick butter
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
16 oz. light sour cream
3-4 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. white pepper

Using a fork or sharp knife, poke the potatoes all over. Bake potatoes at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour, or until they can be pierced easily with a fork. While still hot, hold the potatoes with an oven mitt, slice them in half, and scoop the insides into a stand mixer bowl. Reserve skins. Add the butter and 3 cups of the grated cheese to the potatoes and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes at medium speed. Add the seasonings and sour cream and mix just until incorporated.

Spoon mixture back into reserved potato skins. Sprinkle the remaining cup of grated cheddar cheese on the potatoes before baking. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes. Serve immediately.

These potatoes freeze well – just let them cool after stuffing and wrap them in a layer of saran wrap before putting them in a freezer ziplock. When you are ready to make them, thaw completely before baking for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Optional:
Feel free to experiment with different mix-ins! You can add chopped green onions, chives, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, chopped steamed broccoli, or crumbled bacon to potato mixture before stuffing.

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