Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Twice Baked Potatoes - When A Recipe Is Not A Recipe

The deal with Twice Baked Potatoes is that it isn't this big fancy thing.

You see first, you make too many baked potatoes.  Everyone does it now in the age of the microwave, has a dinner, makes too much and they sit in the fridge until  someone nukes a leftover and ... well you know what I mean.

A Microwaved leftover baked potato is not terribly appetizing.  At least to me it isn't.

I don't want to run the big oven for just one potato.

Recipe for that is simple.  Scrub the skin or peel it off.  450F/230C oven.  Rub spices and olive oil on the outside of the potato.  Puncture the skin.  Wrap the potato in foil.  Cook for 75 minutes or until tender.

Now you either have leftovers or you just made one.

Let the potato cool.  You need to handle this thing with bare hands.

Now, when you go to eat it you tend to add things to a baked potato, right?
Butter, cheese, chives, dill, onion, bacon...  A long list.  It is what YOU like.
Guess what.  The recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes reads like that.  Granted you add a few drops of milk but there isn't much more.

First, Slice the potato in half lengthwise.

Second. scoop most of the potato out of the skin, leaving enough that the skin will stand on its own.  Less
than a Centimeter or a third of an Inch will do it.

Third, place those insides of the potato in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor.

Finally, add to the bowl your own mix of spices and cheeses.  I recommend using cheese, it helps keep it all together.

Specific amounts for this step:
  • 3 Potatoes - about 200 grams average each or about 7 ounces.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of room temperature or melted butter.  About 22 grams.
  • 1 ounce or 28 grams of sharp Cheddar or any other easily meltable, although I use Parmesan.
  • Add Ins:  Get creative - I dusted mine with Dill Weed.  You can add bacon. Anything you like.
See?  I told you it was simple.  Now...

  • Add all ingredients to the potato insides in the bowl.
  • Mix ingredients until fairly smoothly incorporated into an even mixture using potato masher or food processor.
  • Scoop the ingredients into the potato skins.
  • Bake for 20 plus minutes at 350F/180C moderate oven until the tops begin to turn brown.
  • Just begin to turn brown... don't go too far.  This always takes more than 20 minutes for me, sometimes as much as 30 minutes to cook.  Check every 5 minutes or so after 20 minutes.

Bottom line with this is that I tend to make things ahead.  I tend to bake these until I spot a little caramelization in the tops of the potatoes then quit.  Since I will be re-reheating this stuff, I will toss it inside the toaster oven.

Can you tell, it's a very forgiving recipe?

Variation?  Yes.

The proportions are simple.  For each mid sized potato it is 1/2 Tablespoon (7g) of butter, 1/3 ounce (10g) of cheese, everything else is To Taste.

The cheese will bind this stuff together when it gets hot.  Think of mortar holding bricks together.

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