Friday, January 11, 2013

Twice-Baked Potatoes

-Can't get enough of those russets.  And it's been perfect potato weather.  This crazy cold calls for something hearty; and twice-baked potatoes definitely fits the bill.

One of the things I love most about twice-baked potatoes is all the different ways you can dress them up or down.  Plain baked potatoes are like a blank slate; and there are so many flavors that play well with them.

You can make as many or as few as you like.  Figure on one-half to a whole potato per person depending on what else you're serving.

Start by scrubbing the potatoes and baking them in their jackets at 350 degrees F until you can easily poke a tester through the potatoes - about 60-75 minutes.  Cool the potatoes enough to handle.  Then cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop out the potato flesh, leaving the skin and a thin layer of potato intact to give the skin some structure.

Mash the scooped out potato with the following other ingredients:
1 t finely chopped green onion, per potato
2 T sour cream, per potato
2 T grated cheddar cheese, per potato
Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add more of the above ingredient to taste, if you wish.

Spoon the mashed mixture back into the hollowed out potato skins.  Sprinkle about 1 t additional grated cheddar cheese on top.  Place potatoes on a very lightly greased baking sheet and return to a hot oven - about 425-450 degrees F until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5-10 minutes.

I find that the mashed mixture usually doesn't go quite as far as I'd like when re-filling the potatoes - probably because I like to mound it back into the potato halves.  So, if I'm making two or more twice-baked potatoes, I like to baked up an extra one (or more), just for the potato flesh.

Omnivores might consider adding cooked and crumbled bacon, sausage, or even ground beef.  Finely chopped and sauteed mushrooms are another tasty way to go.  Feel free to change up the cheese - Gruyere is a delicious alternative.

Consider stirring in a little chipotle or finely chopped and sauteed garlic.  Chopped parsley is nice both inside or as a garnish.  And speaking of garnishes:  Salsa or sour cream are nice, so are chimichurri or pesto of any variety.

Today's bounty included the following:
From County Line Harvest South:  Baby rainbow carrots, arugula, cilantro, rainbow chard, red beets, and collards;

From Jimenez Family Farm:  Russet potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, leeks, spinach, onions, and cabbage;

From K and K Ranch:  Satsuma tangerines, Oro Blanco grapefruit, and Pink Lady apples.



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