I’ve seen and tasted some twice baked potatoes that were at best, uninspired. They might as well have just had mashed potatoes plopped into the potato skins before being briefly reheated in the oven. I don’t quite know why anyone or any company would put the mark so low, but what do I know. The key is being liberal with the ingredients. They need to be stuffed to the brim with bacon and cheddar cheese and other goodies. Yes they’re absolutely not healthy, I know, but if you’re going to be eating some twice baked potatoes, you might as well just do it right. And since they have bacon, they have to be good.
What’s really great about twice baked potatoes, besides the fact that they taste so good, is that you don’t have to be precise with the measurements. Just make sure the potato is fully cooked before scooping it out, then throw in as much of each ingredient as you want. Want more bacon? Then throw in another handful. Don’t think there are enough chives? Add some more of those too. Then mix everything up and plop it all back into the skins to bake a second time. The only reason this recipe takes as long as it does is because of the baking time required for the potatoes to begin with.
I will be adding measurements in the directions that follow, but only because that is about how much I add of each listed ingredient when I make twice baked potatoes and should only be looked at as a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with these. Everything can be adjusted to your personal taste.
You also don’t have to purchase the biggest bakers you can find, although it can save you a little time by not having to cut and scoop out so many potatoes, but you do want to keep them somewhat uniform in size. If some of the potatoes are fairly larger than the others, you will end up drying out the smaller potatoes (lame), while the bigger ones won’t get fully cooked all the way through (really lame). I understand you could simply remove the smaller potatoes while letting the larger ones continue to cook, but why add additional steps that aren’t needed? Plus, if you plan on presenting these potatoes to your family or friends, they will look better if they are all close to the same size. And don’t forget to coat the potatoes with some oil before baking. It keeps the skin moist while cooking.
Although you can pretty much use whatever type of potato you want, I would say to not use red potatoes because that might just become tedious really quickly trying to scoop them all out. It could however, make for an interesting appetizer type dish. I don’t really know if it would work though, and I don’t particularly want to do it myself so if anyone feels like trying it, please let me know how it did or didn’t turn out. Russet potatoes, or baking potatoes as they are also called, will probably be what you will use most of the time.
There are also plenty of other ingredients you could add in addition to what I have listed here. For instance, you could swap out the cheddar cheese in favor of some Colby jack, or even try some pepper jack cheese and then throw in some chopped jalapeno peppers or crushed red peppers to create a twice baked potato with some spice. Other options could include minced garlic, shallots, bell peppers, diced onions, breakfast sausage, diced ham, ground beef, horseradish, cayenne pepper, paprika, sage or even parsley. Do yourself a favor though, and don’t add everything you see in the list above, because it probably won’t turn out that well. Though there is plenty of room for error, try and be a little selective with the ingredients you plan on blending together.
If you are like me (and if you aren’t like me, I don’t understand why not), one who really enjoys brunch food, imagine creating your very own brunch version of the twice baked potato. You can’t see it, but I am drooling right now. There are just so many possibilities. You could stuff it with breakfast sausage, bacon, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, raw spinach, butter and cheddar cheese…
As always, give us your feedback on the recipe and if you have any crazy tips to make these even better, please let us all know.
Fully Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes
By: Semiserious Chefs
- 6 large baking potatoes
- 1/4 cup oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, or olive oil. It doesn’t matter)
- 1 lb bacon (chopped)
- 3/4 cup green onions (chopped)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200° C)
- Brush oil over potatoes making sure to coat them fully, and then place them on a sheet pan or baking pan and let them cook for about an hour. Cooking time will vary depending on how large or how small the potatoes are though.
- When the potatoes are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and let cool.
- While the potatoes are cooking, chop up the bacon and fry over medium-high heat until it just starts crisping up (between 5 – 10 minutes)
- Drain the bacon and set aside. Don’t rinse the bacon with water unless you are trying to remove as much excess fat as you can.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each one lengthwise before scooping out the meat of the potato with a spoon into a large bowl. Be careful not to damage the skin of the potato too much.
- Add the bacon, green onions, milk, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter, and salt and pepper.
- Mix until blended well.
- Scoop out the mixture, filling the twelve halves of potato skin evenly.
- Place the now filled potatoes back in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for roughly 20 – 25 minutes or until the top starts turning a golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.