Twice Baked Potatoes
I reflect a lot on the things that I ate while growing up, and there are plenty of great recipes that stand out. Some of the items that stand out were of the frozen nature. Things like soft pretzels, or twice baked potatoes. You remember the type of twice baked potatoes, the frozen kind, and I believe that they came two in a box. Pop them in the microwave, or place them in the oven, and a get piping hot potato concoction. So hot that when taking a bite into them, they basically peel the skin from the roof of your mouth.
So as of lately, I have been thinking about making twice baked potatoes, and of all days, I decided to do it on a Sunday morning. I have probably been thinking about my loaded potato skins, hence, why I probably decided to do something different with the potato skins.
Last night was call your own pizza night with the kids, and my wife. As I made the dough earlier on in the day, it was as simple as rolling it out, and topping it to everyone’s liking. I had everything from the standard cheese and pepperoni, to caramelized onion and sausage and mozzarella. So with that being said, I had about a cup of caramelized onions left over, along with about a half a pint of mushrooms. The creativity light went on, and out came my idea for twice baked potatoes that were simply outrageous in flavor!
- 8 russet potatoes, forked, and baked in oven for 1 hour
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup of caramelized onions
- 1/2 cup of sauteed mushrooms, small dice
- 1/2 cup of shredded colby jack cheese
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
- 3/4 cup of milk
First thing is first. Wash the outside of the russet potatoes, fork them, and place them on a baking sheet. Cook in a preheated 400 degree oven for nearly one hour. Remove, and let them completely cool. Prepare the rest of your ingredients while they cool.
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a microwave, or on the stove top. With a bread knife, carefully slice lengthwise through each potato. With a spoon, gently core out the potato, leaving about a quarter inch edge, as you want your skins to retain their shape and be a bit firm. Take the mixture, and place it in a pot on the stove. Repeat until all of the potatoes have been cored.
Preheat your broiler to 425 degrees. Lightly brush the inside and outside of the potato skins with the butter. Place back onto the baking sheet, and placed under the broiler until the edges get a bit crispy, roughly 4-6 minutes. Remove them from the broiler, then preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Take your pot of potato mixture, and turn on the stove to a medium-low heat. Add in your milk, salt, pepper, and remaining butter. With a potato masher, begin to mash down into your desired consistency. Remove from the heat, and fold in your cheese, rosemary, onions, bacon, and mushrooms.
Take a heaping spoonful, and load the potato mixture into each skin, packing it in there. Place in the oven and bake for nearly 20 minutes. Remove and let them cool for about 5 minutes before digging in.
These twice baked potatoes are loaded with flavor. The sweetness from the caramelized onions, the texture of the bacon, and the earthiness from the mushrooms and rosemary, really bring these potatoes up to the next level. Forget the frozen potatoes, and use your imagination and creativity to bring these wonderful twice baked potatoes to your kitchen table (if they make it that far). Enjoy.
Twice baked potatoes are favorite holiday fare at our house. In fact, they’re likely to make our Easter menu, paired with smoked brisket and steamed spring asparagus. Definitely comfort food at its best.