Spanish explorers sailed to the New World in search of great riches, especially gold. While much gold was found, but not as much as they wished, something else of great importance was found and transported back to Europe. The Potato.
As a novelty, the potato took some time to gain popularity. Once people were convinced it wasn’t poisonous and didn’t cause leprosy, it became a staple food, providing important nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium and B vitamins.
Potatoes get a bad rap among fad diets such as those demonizing carbs. But probably the biggest health concern surrounding potatoes isn’t the potato itself, but what we do to the potato.
When purchasing potato sets for planting in the garden one year, the clerk extolled the superiority of red potatoes, telling us how to cook them in a pan with a whole stick of butter. My thought was: What potato wouldn’t be good cooked in a whole stick of butter?! But I want the potato to be good for me.
Twice baked potatoes are one of the ways in which we take an innocent potato and load it with all kinds of calorie laden accompaniments to create an absolutely delicious side dish. But, interestingly enough, the flavor of the actual potato is often lost in this process.
I like to make a healthier version, keeping the rich, fat laden additions to a minimum, and allowing the potato to star in its own dish.
Step by step Overview:
Scoop out the flesh of the baked potatoes. If the potato is still warm this step will be easier. Make sure to leave the skin intact. You want to be able to re-stuff your potatoes!
Mash up the potato flesh.
Stir in your milk and sour cream. If the mixture seems to dry, add a bit more milk until you get the right consistency. It should be moist and creamy but not soupy. Toss in your bacon crumbles and sliced green onions. Then season with salt and pepper. Give it a taste and make sure you are happy with the seasoning.
Refill the potato skins with your seasoned mixture heaping high. You won’t use all the potato skins.
Top with your grated cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of paprika before baking.
Once the potatoes are hot all the way through and the cheese is melty, they’re done. Serve immediately while they’re nice and hot.
Twice Baked Potatoes
- 6 large baked potatoes
- 1/8 cup crumbled bacon or 2 strips
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 fresh green onions
- 1 tsp salt more to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper to taste
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp paprika garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- While still warm, slice the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl.
- Mash potato flesh with milk and sour cream. Add more milk and sour cream as needed to moisten.
- Stir in bacon crumbles and green onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Refill potato skins, heaping high. NOTE: not all skins will be used.
- Place potatoes on a baking sheet. Top with cheddar cheese, sprinkle with paprika and cook for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and potatoes are hot.
- Serve immediately.