Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

17 Jun

I love to eat baked potatoes… I remember when we first got a microwave oven, way back when, I was always in charge of making the baked potatoes. Prick them a few times with a fork… bake in the oven… wrap them in foil paper to retain the heat… and eat them just like if you were at a steak house.

That was AGES ago… now, I no longer have a microwave in my kitchen and steakhouses are not part of my restaurant rotation. But I still love to bake potatoes. But they take FOREVER in an oven… even in a toaster oven which is what I usually use if it’s just me and a few others to feed.

My sister gave me an Express Cooker last Xmas as a gift. One of the recipes in the booklet that comes with the Express is how to bake potatoes… and to do it in just 15 minutes. In the regular oven, it usually takes about 1 hour to properly bake a potato. So this is a real time-saver. But the real kicker is what to mix it with… Anybody can bake a potato, but the fixings are what make it special.

LOADED TWICE BAKED POTATOES

1 large baking potato
1 tbs butter
2 tbs sour cream
2 tbs cream cheese
1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
2 scallions, chopped
1 tbs of Vegan Bac’n
2 handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. I baked my potato using the Express… but you can do it in a regular oven or toaster oven. I cut the potato into 2 halves, oiled it with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. And cooked it cut side down for 15 minutes.
  2. When the potato is baked, I allow it to cool off a bit so I can handle it easily. But it needs to still be warm for you to easily be able to remove the flesh of the potato and leave the outer skin with a bit of potato so it has still some structure.
  3. Place the flesh of the potato in a medium sized bowl and mix in your favorite fixin’s… mine has butter, sour cream, cream cheese, garlic, scallions, these new Vegan Bac’ns I found at the health food store the other day and shredded cheddar cheese. I use a bit of cheese inside the mash and leave some for the topping.
  4. Mash all the ingredients together… season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a drizzle of olive oil if you feel the mixture needs some moisture.
  5. Take the potato mash and spoon it back into the potato shells. I like to mound the mixture so it looks luscious and abundant. Place what’s left of the shredded cheese on top.
  6. Place in a toaster oven on 450F or broiler for about 10 minutes to melt and brown the cheese on top.

To me, half a potato is plenty for me as a side dish… and both halves are good as a main course with a salad on the side.

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