All about the prep – Twice Baked Potatoes

I love potatoes, my mom tells me that when I was little I hated them, but I can’t believe this is true. Potatoes work so well with so many yummy ingredients – butter, cream, cheese…Cream cheese, etc.  DSC_0178

Tonight I am pairing them with another great love, Bacon.  Bacon, wonderful salty crispy, bacon.  Am I typing the word bacon enough?  I have to admit that I once spent a few months saving my bacon renderings to make a bacon fat pie crust.  It was delicious, unfortunately it was also the hardest crust I have ever worked with, so I called it a failed experiment and left the dream of bacon pie behind. I am not sure if this post is about potatoes or bacon at this point.

These are a great make ahead.  I am making them tonight while all the little ones are sleeping so that tomorrow I have less work to do for Sunday Dinner.  These potatoes are demanded requested by my nephews for Christmas dinner every year.  I think they have also added them to the Easter Brunch menu as well.

You see that I have four potatoes, but I will only end up with six halves.  I like to really load the filling into the skin so that one half is a serving (this does not include nephew size servings, I am pretty sure they eat about three)

Start by baking off your potatoes.  I tossed mine in the oven tonight shortly before bringing my three year old up for bed.  After stories, prayers, and songs, the battle really started and bedtime took much longer than usual.  What didn’t help the process was realizing that I forgot to fork holes in the potatoes midway through, cut to me running downstairs in a panic that my potatoes would explode (thankfully no spud bombs tonight).  Anyway bake off your potatoes then let them sit for ten minutes or so before you start to handle them.

If you are not battling with a three year old you can use the time while your potatoes are baking to fry up your bacon and onions.  I like to use scissors to cut my bacon into small pieces.

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Fry your bacon at a medium low heat, you want to really render out the fat and get crispy bacon bits.  I always want to cook my bacon at a higher heat and rush the process but it just ends up burnt, low ‘n slow is how to go here.  Once your bacon is cooked transfer it onto paper towels to drain. **I love my minion paper towels!!

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Pour out your bacon fat into an old can or save it in a mason jar for future use (bacon fat is the best for frying eggs) saving a little bit for your onions to saute in.  Again, you want to saute over a low heat with a little salt so they get soft and sweet.

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Once your potatoes are done and safe to handle you can then cut them lengthwise in half and scoop out the insides.

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I like to put everything into my kitchen aid for mixing but a handheld mixer works well too.  Add your cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper, bacon, and onions to the mixer and blend.  Add your cheese and milk and you have your filling.

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Scoop back into the shells and either bake them again, or refrigerate till you are ready to bake them again.

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Perfect for Sunday Night Dinner!

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 Large Russet Potatoes
  • ½ Lb Bacon
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • ¼ Cup Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • ¼ Cup of Milk
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Jack
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and dry your potatoes. Using a fork poke a few holes into the potatoes. Bake your potatoes at 400° for about an hour or soft to the touch. Meanwhile fry your bacon at a medium low heat until crispy.  Remove bacon to a paper towel to drain.  Reserve 1 Tablespoon of bacon fat and pour out the remainder.  Use the 1 Tbsp of bacon fat to saute your onions at a medium low heat for about ten minutes, or until your onions are soft and translucent.  Set aside onions and bacon.  Once your potatoes come out of the oven let them rest for ten minutes.  Cut your potatoes lengthwise and using a spoon scoop out the insides.  Mix together potatoes, cream cheese, butter, bacon and onions. Add Milk and cheese and blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake again at 350° for 30 minutes (or until heated through).

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