Friday, February 1, 2013

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

In ancient Greek mythology they say that the food of the gods is ambrosia.  Usually described as a nectar to drink, it is said to bring ageless immortality upon whoever consumed it.  But I am calling BS on all of that.  The food of the gods is not some sweet, magical syrup, and I honestly think it is very obvious what the real foods of the gods are.  Potato, bacon, and cheese.  Regardless of what form each of these three heavenly foods are in, when combined with one another, they sing a sweet melody that could even lure in a siren, which makes my Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes the ultimate ambrosia.  Although it won't bring ageless immortality, I can promise you that if all of the bacon fat, cheese, and butter clog your arteries, causing you to die of a heart attack, you will die the happy.  But you shouldn't have to worry since the little bit of broccoli I add makes it healthy! 


Total cook time: 1hr 20min

- 6 Russet Potatoes
- About a pound of fresh Broccoli (or you could use 1-2 packages of frozen broccoli, thawed)
- 1 Stick of Butter
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 Cup Crumbled Bacon (I just use the microwave kind)
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese* (Shredded) Plus extra for the top
- 1 Cup Cheddar Jack Cheese* (Shredded) Plus extra for the top
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste

* This is the combination of cheeses that I like to use, but feel free to experiment with these.  Other cheeses like Gouda, Sharp Cheddar, or even Gruyere would be fantastic! 


1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Scrub potatoes (without scrubbing the skin off of course) poke one or two holes through them with a fork or knife.  Wrap in foil and place in the oven for about 1 hour.  If you have some larger potatoes, they may need to stay in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.  I usually pull the smaller ones out after an hour to cool and let the larger ones finish cooking.

2. While the potatoes are in the oven, cook and crumble the bacon and bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Drop the broccoli in the boiling water for about 4-5 minutes to blanch them.  Once the 4-5 minutes is up, drain the broccoli and transfer it into a bowl of ice and water immediately to stop the cooking process.  After another 2-3 minutes, once the broccoli is cooled, drain the ice and water and let sit.  (Sometimes I place a paper towel in the bottom to soak up any extra water)

3. Once the potatoes are done cooking, unwrap them and allow them to cool until you are able to handle them without getting third-degree burns.  Or just hold them in a paper towel if you feel like living on the edge.  

4. Cut a canoe like shape out of the top of the potatoes and scoop out the insides into a bowl with the stick of butter.  Try to leave a thin layer of potato so that the skin will hold its shape, but don't panic if the skin gets torn a little, the gooey goodness will hold it together like glue! 

5. Once all of the potato has been scooped out, place the skins upside down on a lined sheet pan.  Generously brush some olive oil on the skins and season with salt and pepper.   Flip the skins right side up.  

6. Mash the potatoes and butter together until they are no longer chunky.  

7. Chop the blanched broccoli into small pieces and mix into the potatoes. 

8. Next add the sour cream, cheeses, bacon, and salt and pepper to taste.  Combine until everything is well incorporated and smooth.  

9.  I like to scoop the mixture into a piping bag to make it easier to get back into the potato.  You could put it into a zip lock, or just spoon it back in.  Either way, generously fill all of the skins with the potato mixture.  If my awesome potatoes are filled to the max, plus some, and I still have extra potato mixture, I'll make a little potato log on the pan because there is just no wasting this gold! 

10.  Top the madness with some more parmesan and cheddar jack and pop them in the oven for another 20 minutes or so until all of the cheese is melted and oozy and golden brown.  If mine aren't golden enough for me after 20 minutes, I turn the broiler on to finish them off quickly.  

11.  I like to eat mine with a little more sour cream on the side, but a little extra butter on top would be delicious as well!  I take no responsibility for any cardiac issues related to this recipe, nor do I take responsibility for any addiction issues one may acquire after eating the first bite.  Eat at your own risk! 

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