Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes are an easy way to upgrade ho-hum baked potatoes to a very deluxe side dish!

Makes 4 servings

2 medium russet potatoes
vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (For a less traditional taste, substitute Pepper Jack or Gruyere)
2 tablespoons green onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup milk, warmed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse potatoes thoroughly. Prick the skins of the potatoes with a fork a couple of times. Lightly oil skins and place potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at on the center rack for 60 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. (Be sure to leave the oven on and set at 400 degrees.)

Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise across the narrower side. This will produce potato halves with long, blunt bottoms to rest on the baking sheet (instead of rolling over). Using an oven mitt to hold the potato, scoop out the flesh with a small spoon into a medium-sized bowl. Don’t feel the need to scrap the potato bald! Leaving up to a 1/4 inch of potato attached to the skin is not only acceptable, but helpful for holding in the filling.

Mash the potato flesh with a fork. Add the sour cream, cheese, green onions, milk, salt and pepper. Note: Do not use cold milk or cold butter when mashing potatoes. It causes the starch in the potatoes to seize up, which is the main cause of glutinous mashed potatoes. Beat filling with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the shells, mounding slightly. Place on baking sheet side-by-side to prevent the potatoes from rolling over. Bake potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until the tops achieve brown spotting. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

For extra crispy skins, return empty shells to the oven while preparing the filling. Don’t get sidetracked and forget about about them! Bake the empty shells for no longer than 10 minutes or the final product may have burned skins.



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