Maybe I am stuck in some kind of cooking time warp, but my favorite side dish for a big ol’ juicy steak is a twice baked potato. I never get tired of them. What’s not to love? Fluffy baked potato loaded with cheese, sour cream, and topped with more cheese, bacon, and a few green onions. It’s probably the best way to eat a potato, if you ask me. And really they aren’t difficult to make. I scrub the potatoes really good, dry them and bake them. I don’t prick them, or wrap them in foil or rub them with anything. I think they bake best just by themselves. Then I cut them in half, instead of trying to make a small cut in the top , that just never works out for me. Plus if you cut them in half you don’t have to eat a whole one, unless you want to. Also, you don’t have to buy huge baking potatoes especially for this. Most of the time I just save the largest russet potatoes from my ten pound sack and bake those. Sometimes the skins are thin (especially when you don’t have baking potatoes) and they don’t hold up after scraping the insides. In such cases I make the filling as planned and place it in a casserole dish and bake it, which is really easy and it’s just as tasty. Okay, who knew I had so much to say about baked potatoes, hope you will give these a try, they are super good!
Easy Twice Baked Potatoes
4 baking potatoes (or large Russet potatoes)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup cheese, grated, divided
(I used Longhorn Colby, Cheddar, Colby-Jack, or American or Pepper-Jack work well also)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half and half
1/3 – 1/2 cup milk (depending on the size of you potatoes, add milk until you have desired consistency)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend (optional)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Scrub potatoes really well, dry and place in oven preheated to 425 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour or until they yield to gentle pressure. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Slice potatoes in half long-wise. Scoop out potatoes into a large mixing bowl reserving skins. Add softened butter, 1 cup of cheese, sour cream, half and half 1/3 cup of milk, salt, and Mrs. Dash. Using an electric mixer beat potatoes until relatively smooth. Stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and adding more milk if needed. You want the potatoes to be a little thicker than mashed potatoes, not soupy. Spoon filling into potato skins and place in a large baking dish or cake pan. Or if you prefer to skip the skins just spoon into a casserole dish. Sprinkle each stuffed potato half with remaining cheese, bacon and green onions.
Return to a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are heated through.