Do you like comfort food especially during yet another polar vortex? Up here in Minnesota we are watching with amazement, as the entire Gulf Coast has been overwhelmed with snow and ice. We’ve never heard of kids staying overnight in school because the roads were impassable. We’ve had more than our share of school closings this year, but it’s due to extreme cold, instead of the snow and ice we are prepared to deal with.
When it’s this cold for so long you must have hot food and the baked potato is a sure hit, and twice baked potatoes are even better. For the family I always bake up an entire bag of potatoes, because they make such excellent leftovers too. Here’s what you’ll need:
20 pound bag of Idaho russet baking potatoes
1 stick Land O Lakes butter
1 c. of milk, I use skim, but whole milk or cream is good too
1/2 c. sour cream
fresh ground salt and pepper
1 bag grated cheddar cheese
6 strips of bacon, fried or baked till crispy and drained on paper tower
green onions for garnish
Bake the potatoes in the oven at 350* until tender, approximately 1 hour. Pull them out of the oven and let them cool enough to handle.
Get out your handy KitchenAid mixer and cut the top off each spud and scoop the inside of the potatoes into the mixer. Place the remaining potato boats into an ovenproof dish, like this oval Mauviel Copper casserole.
Prepare your butter, milk and sour cream by melting the butter and mixing them in a measuring cup, ready to pour into the mixing bowl with the scooped spuds. Grind your salt and pepper into the mixer, take a taste, and adjust the seasonings. You might have to do this a couple of times just to make sure it’s just right, he he.
Next fill the potato boats to overflowing with the hot white fluff of buttery goodness, and reheat them in the oven for 15 – 30 minutes at 350*. You’d think this would be enough, right? Wrong!
The final comfort is yet to come. Cover the potatoes with grated cheese, sprinkle with green onions and the crispy bacon. Put them back into the oven so they can all melt together. It’s easy to hold the casserole in a warm oven until the rest of your meal is ready. Sometimes I’ll even do the filled potato boats a day ahead and refrigerate until a couple of hours before dinner. With thoroughly cold potato boats, I’d leave them in the oven for 1 – 1/2 hours or until nice and hot, then add the toppings toward the end.
What’s not to love?
Cooking comfort in the cold,
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