I think the entire world knows how much I love potatoes. It’s true, I love them so much that I want to move to Idaho to and marry a potato farm so I can take care of them to maturity, then cook them and eat them. I doubt I’ll ever actually live in Idaho, let alone visit the state, so that’s not really a possibility but still I love me some potatoes.
In the process of branching out my potato cooking skills, I have developed the ability to bake potatoes like it’s no one’s business, except mine (I could probably make a job out of it). This comes in handy when you want to make bake potatoes, potato skins, or twice baked potatoes. I have told you about all of the above except the twice-baked potatoes. This is because I have never actually made them with my own hands until last night.
To start you need to bake your potatoes. If you are planning this as a side dish, bake half as many potatoes as there are people, plus one incase you mess up, if you want it to be a meal do one per person. Wash and dry the potatoes, then rub them in some canola oil and salt the outside. Also poke a few holes on each side with a fork so they can vent.
They should bake for at least an hour, to an hour and fifteen minutes, at 350 degrees. then pull them out of the oven. Keep the oven on, though.
Let them cool for 10-15 minutes, then slice them in half. Let them cool just a bit more (like 5 or 10 minutes) and then scoop ou the insides and put them in a mixing bowl, leaving a potato skin boat. It should be about a quarter-inch think, it needs to maintain its structural integrity.
Now you have a bowl of hot potato guts, add some cheese, some sour cream, and a couple of tablespoons of butter. Salt and pepper to your taste. If you are doing this not on a Monday, throw some bacon bits in there too. Mash this stuff up, making sure that the butter is completely melted and distributed evenly.
Take a scoop of this mixture and put it back into the potato boats, making sure that they are full. Top it with some more cheese, and bacon bits or whatever, and then pop them back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes. After the cheese has melted, turn the oven off, turn the broiler on, and let the top brown just a little. Do not let them go too long.
Serve with whatever you would like, they go great with almost anything but pasta or other carb-y food.
You can take a number of different paths with twice-baked potatoes. You can go with a Mexican flavor, throwing in some salsa in with the inside mixture and doing mexican cheeses, or you could do a jalapeno popper potato with cream cheese instead of sour cream and diced bits of jalapeno on the inside and on top with a crunchy bread crumb topping (you might want to keep those small, and they might not be that great anyway, I’ll have to try someday when I have extra time (HAHAHA time?)).
Anyway, you can make a meal out of these if you really want, but mostly they are just wildly delicious.