If you’ve ever heard people talk about twice-baked potatoes, you may be wondering how you can make these amazing potatoes at home. It is incredibly easy and quick to prepare this crowd-pleasing favorite and only requires some simple ingredients.
Intensely flavored, twice-baked potatoes are filling enough to be meals on their own, yet they make wonderful starters or side dishes for other dishes. Here are some basic steps you need to follow to get your potatoes baked twice the right way. Gather a few things from the fridge and follow these simple instructions.
1. Prepare raw potatoes
You will need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and select eight good-looking baking potatoes. It is recommended that they are firm and free of bruises or sprouts, all of which are signs of spoilage. Wash the potatoes thoroughly in water and then dry them completely. Be sure to pierce each potato at least two or three times with a fork before you place them in the oven to prevent them from bursting. To add flavor and crispiness to the potato skins, rub them with extra virgin olive oil to give them an extra-healthy twist.
2. Bake your potatoes in the oven
You will need to place your potatoes on a baking sheet and bake them for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the oven. You should turn your potatoes over halfway through the cooking process to prevent the skin on either side from over-hardening. If you want to test if the potatoes are done, poke them with a fork after they have been baked for the appropriate amount of time. Once the fork easily penetrates through the potato flesh, the potatoes are ready to be taken out of the oven.
3. Fry up some bacon in a pan
The bacon adds a little bit of crunch to your potato filling that is low in carbs and high in protein. Just place eight strips of bacon in a pan and allow to cook on low heat. Bacon should be cooked until it is brown and crispy around the edges, but not hard and curled, because this indicates the bacon has been cooked too long. When trying to achieve perfectly cooked bacon, it is advisable to use a cast-iron pan, which distributes heat more evenly than aluminum pans. The grease should be drained from the pan and the bacon should be placed on a towel to dry.
4. Preparation of your cooked potatoes
Everyone wants to avoid handling a hot potato if they can avoid it. It is recommended that the potatoes are allowed to cool for ten minutes before handling them. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. In the next step, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and put it into a mixing bowl, leaving the shells to be filled. In order to prevent the potato shells from breaking when the potatoes are baked a second time, you should leave a quarter-inch layer of flesh on the inside of the shells.
5. Make Your Cheese Selection
The hardest thing to imagine is that a stuffed potato dish would be complete without some savory, high-protein, high-calcium cheese to do the dish justice. If you’re a fan of cheddar cheese, cheddar may be a traditional choice for topping your potato, but don’t hesitate to substitute other types of cheese based on your liking. The grittier texture and stronger flavor of parmesan make it a popular topping for potato skins as well. Pepper jack cheese can add some extra zing to a pizza, but mozzarella has a much lighter, more subtle flavor. After you have chosen your favorite, put a cup of it in your mixing bowl and mix it.
6. Using a knife, slice your butter
While the potatoes are baking, you may want to leave two sticks of butter out to soften. Slice the sticks into pieces to make them easier to stir and add them to the mixing bowl once the sticks have been sliced into small pieces.
- If you would like to make a healthier choice, you can substitute margarine for butter, which is made from vegetable oils and is lower in saturated fat.
- It is also possible to substitute heart-healthier olive oil at a ratio of three to four in place of butter.
- With buttermilk used at a ratio of one-to-two, a less-fattening, creamier alternative to butter is created.
7. Stir in the sour cream
The topping of our potato with a dollop of sour cream is something most of us are accustomed to, but when baked in, that cream can also give a sweet and tangy richness to the middle of your potato. Adding a cup of low-fat sour cream to the remaining ingredients in your mixing bowl will add more flavor to the dish. Despite being packed with protein and calcium, sour cream is not for everyone. If you do not like the taste of it, you can substitute a cup of yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda for many of the same health benefits.
8. Add some onions to the mixture
Are you looking for a tasty, healthy way to make twice-baked potatoes? There are many options available to you. Green onions are the best way to add flavor to your potato mix as well as a satisfying texture. In addition to cancer-preventative antioxidants, onions are also rich in carotenoids, which contribute to eye health. It is best to wash three green onions thoroughly, to remove the very top of the greens, and to remove any roots, before thinly slicing them and adding them to your mixing bowl.
9. Add some spice to it
To give the potatoes an extra buzz of flavor, in addition to adding even more health benefits, the potato mix can also be sprinkled with your favorite herbs and spices. It is a well-known fact that ground black pepper does not only provide intense flavor but it is also considered to have anti-inflammatory properties. There is evidence that garlic powder, an aromatic and rich seasoning used on potatoes, may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. The flavor of finely chopped parsley is quite strong and zesty and, like other flavonoids, it is thought to offer protection against certain types of cancer.
10. Rebake your potatoes after filling them up with the filling
The bacon should be added to a mixing bowl and mashed up with a potato masher in order to break up the bacon and properly mix together the butter, cheese, sour cream, potato mix, onion, plus any spices you may have added. The next step is to fill each potato with the filling. You shouldn’t be afraid to pile on as much as the outer shell can hold. On top of the potatoes, sprinkle a bit more of the cheese of your choice, then bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown.