Saturday, March 26, 2016

Twice Baked Potatoes

5 lbs large baking potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk (or skim milk, or half & half... your choice)
3 ounces cream cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese - divided
1 lb bacon - cooked & crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash potatoes & pat dry.  Place potatoes, not touching, on a large baking sheet (or two!)  Spray potatoes generously with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle outside of potatoes with a little salt.  Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes "give" when gently squeezed.  In a large mixing bowl, add butter, cream cheese, salt & pepper, crumbled bacon & 1/2 of shredded cheese.  Mix well.

Allow potatoes to cool until they can be easily handled.  With a serrated knife, cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise, being careful to leave skins unbroken.  With a large spoon, scoop out the inside of potatoes, leaving a thin layer of potato attached to the inside of the skin.

(Side note, I found these cool fruit scoops at a thrift store, and the large one is LIFE CHANGING for scooping out baked potatoes.  Ok... maybe "life changing" is a bit of an exaggeration, but I definitely prefer it over a spoon!

Add scooped out potato to the mixing bowl containing your other ingredients (note:  if it's too hot, it will melt the cheese... which isn't necessarily a bad thing).  Stir mixture (or use a hand mixer) to incorporate potato, and add milk as needed to make the mixture the consistency of slightly stiff mashed potatoes.

Using the palm of your hand to support the potato shell while filling, spoon and press potato mixture into each potato shell.  Place filled shells on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese & pat cheese to help it adhere to the potato.  Flash freeze potatoes on baking sheet, wrap each potato in plastic wrap & place frozen potatoes in a gallon-size freezer bag.

To cook frozen potatoes:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place potatoes on baking sheet & loosely cover with aluminum foil.  Bake about 45 minutes.  Uncover & bake an additional 15 minutes or more until potatoes are hot.  Do not over bake.  This method keeps the potato skins firm & crisp, but if time is short, frozen potatoes can be microwaved for about 10 minutes on high, then finished off in the oven, or heated completely in the microwave.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment