Sides such Twice Baked Potatoes, much like creamed spinach, are a steakhouse classic. And for potato lovers, it’s no wonder as it combines creamy mashed potatoes with crispy potato skins. Toss on some cheddar cheese, bacon and chives, and this is a solid side dish to a big meaty steak.
Given how delicious they are, I’m not sure why I don’t make these more often. The thing is, they’ve just never crossed my mind. I was looking for some ideas for a side dish recently, glancing at recipes in the Cuisinart Food Processor manual, when I saw a page for Twice Baked Potatoes.
Interesting, I thought….not only that the recipe was in a food processor manual, but that I’ve never actually made Twice Baked Potatoes. I wound up using their general approach, but opted not to make anything in the food processor itself. The last time I used it the Cuisinart on potatoes, I wound up with something closer to Rubber Cement.
Keep in mind that with the classic approach, these will take a good 2 hours minutes to make. You could trim a good 30 minutes out of that though if you partially cook the potatoes first in the microwave. I might try that next time, but I’m suspicious of being able to still get the super crispy potato skins that are so delicious.
There are two key cooking stages in the process: which you can easily break apart into do-ahead and game-day phases. The first phase involves baking the potatoes, cutting them open and scooping out insides for mashing. The second phase is where the mashed potatoes go back in the skins and they actually become the Twice Baked.
For the first phase, here’s where you get a chance to make some seriously over-the-top-rich mashed potatoest. I used whole milk (with a toddler, we always have plenty), butter and grated parmesan with the potatoes. Since you’re working with a small amount, it’s easy to tweak and increase amounts to get it just right.
For some serious garlic flavor, you can go in two different directions. The most common is to roast the garlic cloves in the oven along with the potatoes, and then mash them in. However, I like a bigger, bolder garlic flavor so I use raw crushed garlic instead. And lots of it.
After you make the mashed potatoes, you’ll fill the skins and they’ll go back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes (depends on if they were in the refrigerator overnight). If you’ll be topping the potatoes before plating, and those toppings include cheese, I’d suggest giving them an extra minute in the oven so the cheese melts a bit. Otherwise you could be super fancy like those martini glass mashed potato bars and let your guests choose from a wide variety of appealing toppings.
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An American staple, the twice baked potato with bacon, cheddar and chives
- 4 Russet Potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (not extra virgin)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Chives
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Teaspoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Rub each potato with olive oil (not extra virgin, the heat is too high in the oven and it will smoke) and give a liberal coating of salt.
Cook for 1 hour at 400 degrees. They should be soft in the middle if pierced with a knife.
When cooled, use a paring knife to slice off the top and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl (about 90%, don’t go all the way to the skins)
Mash the scooped potato and mix in milk, butter, garlic, parmesan, chives, salt and pepper.
Fill your empty potato skins back up with the mashed potatoes and place back in the oven for about 20 minutes
Before taking out top with cheddar cheese. It should melt within 2-3 minutes (may be broiled as well)