Twice-Baked Potatoes ♥

Cheesy-good twice-baked potatoes ready for the oven[From now til Thanksgiving, A Veggie Venture is featuring new recipes using vegetables traditional at Thanksgiving. So far, there's been butternut squash and yams, today it's potatoes. To see what Thanksgiving vegetables are still to come, check the grand collection of 2007 Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes.]

Oh! these twice-baked and slightly over-stuffed potatoes are good! And they weren't at all fussy to make, easier than expected. They are 'over-stuffed', with the flesh of three potatoes filling the skins of two. This made the taste all about the potato, rather than the cheese.

For great potato taste, bake the potatoes for three hours -- yes, three hours. (No, that's not a typo.) I know, I know, 'one hour' is the standard answer when you ask how long to bake a baked potato. But you won't believe the difference in the texture of the flesh in Slow-Baked Potatoes. After three hours, the potato flesh is creamy (though not soft) and almost nutty in flavor. And the skins, oh! the skins are so crispy and good. There's no NOT eating them. They're just perfect for twice-baked potatoes.

TIPS
  • Choose 'baking' potatoes, some times called Idaho potatoes, the russets that have brown rough skins.
  • Chipotle cheddar cheese adds a nice 'bite' but any good cheese will do.
  • The potato flesh is quite soft so there's no need to 'mash' the potatoes unless you prefer. Just smash a bit with the spoon while mixing with the other ingredients. We really enjoyed having small chunks of potato throughout.
  • If portion management is important, pick out the smallest russet potatoes. That said, the smallest ones seem to weigh 3/4 pound, the biggest nearly 1-1/4 pounds. That's big!
  • Since even half of a large potato is 'big', especially for a multi-course meal like Thanksgiving, consider cutting each potato half in half again for a serving.
  • I also experimented with white and red potatoes because they're smaller; they're okay taste-wise but just not as tasty as the russets.
  • Do you need to prick the potatoes with a fork before baking? I haven't (twice) with no oven blow-ups. Plus, logic says that piercing the skin would release moisture, drying out the fleshy interior.
MAKE-AHEAD TIPS
  • A DAY AHEAD Bake the potatoes. Scoop out the centers and prepare the filling. Refrigerate. (There's no reason why the potatoes can't be made the day of, just be sure to coordinate with other things that require the oven.)
  • THE DAY OF Bring the potato mixture to room temperature. Fill the potato skins. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until heated through.


LEFTOVER REPORT These rewarm well but the texture is definitely better the first time out of the oven.



MORE IDEAS for THANKSGIVING VEGETABLE RECIPES

featured in 2006
~ Mashed Potatoes with Vegetarian Apple Cider Ginger Sage Gravy, also how to make mashed potatoes ~

more good choices for Thanksgiving
~ Mashed Potatoes & Carrots ~
~ Those Pink Potatoes ~
~ Potato & Poblano Pepper Gratin ~

~ more potato recipes ~


TWICE-BAKED POTATOES

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 4 hours
Serves 4

BAKE THE POTATOES
3 Idaho potatoes
Olive oil

Set the oven to 350F with a rack in the center and a tray or piece of foil below to catch any bits of dripping. Scrub the potatoes well. Pour maybe a teaspoon of olive oil in your palm and rub the skins all around. Put the potatoes into the oven directly on the rack and bake for 3 hours (2-1/2 is likely okay too). If you think about it, turn the potatoes halfway through. Let the potatoes cool enough to handle. Cut all three in half, lengthwise. With a small spoon, scoop out the interiors into a bowl. Save four of the halves for stuffing, eat the other two on the spot, enjoying the nutty chewiness! If you're going to bake immediately, leave the oven on.

STUFFING
4 ounces bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (chipotle works great)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped chive (reserve a bit for garnish)
Salt & pepper to taste

While the potatoes cool, cook the bacon until crispy. (Be sure to save the bacon grease in a glass refrigerator jar. It's really useful to cook with.) Reserve a bit for garnish.

In the potato bowl, stir the potato flesh with the butter, 'mashing' a bit with the spoon but not so much as to be 'smooth' like mashed potatoes. Stir in the cheese, sour cream, cooked bacon, chive and salt and pepper.

With a spoon, arrange the potato mixture in the four skins, pressing a bit to compact. Garnish with bacon and chive.

If making ahead, let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before proceeding. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, until hot clear through.



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Move aside, turkeys. (No, not you, dear readers! Thanksgiving turkeys!) Here at A Veggie Venture, vegetables are the real stars of the Thanksgiving table. So it's new Thanksgiving recipes all November long for a fabulous collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipe ideas. Whether it's last year's famous World's Best Green Bean Casserole or a brand-new recipe which catches your fancy this year, move over turkeys, it's vegetables' time. © Copyright 2007

7 comments:

Yikes is right! But that's the thing about the holidays -- it's fine to allow an indulgence or two. This is like having all of your indulgences in one dish. My mouth is watering....

The 3-hour potato has become a staple in my house; we're eating them with different toppings every week now! (And I'm posting about them, too.) Thanks again for the great idea. I'm going to have to try these twice-baked ones now, too, with some alterations for allergy purposes.

One of the first things I remember doing in the kitchen was helping my mother make twice baked potatoes! In Bountiful, Utah in the 1960's this was the absolute utmost in gourmet food, and mom only made them when we had company (ten kids and all!) I believe I might have even been so young that I was standing on a chair scooping out the inside of the potatoes very carefully, since I loved them so much and I was always (even at that age) trying to encourage the making of interesting dishes like this. Yummy!

Lydia ~ Quite an indulgence but completely worth it, in my book!

Sjpa ~ Yay, a convert!

Kalyn ~ What a sweet, sweet memory, thanks so much for taking us along that lane!

yum! i made these last night and the baking for three hours really worked! thanks for the idea. i just found your blog a couple weeks ago and i think it'll help me eat more veggies (although hopefully i'll choose some of the not-covered-in-sour-cream options, too!)

did you know how cheese was invented? It wasnt necessity, it was an accident, read this

Oh my gosh. I just made these a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm craving them again. Not to mention, it gives me an excuse to buy bacon. :)

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna