April 11, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes

Last weekend, I made Mama's Pulled Pork and mentioned very briefly that once the pulled pork is finished, deciding how you're going to serve it can be difficult.  I mentioned that the first night I like to serve it on a plate, with some form of potatoes to sop up the juices, and on a sandwich or nachos the next day.  Or both.  Usually both.

This time however, I was stumped.  I've paired pulled pork with sweet potatoes (yum), garlic mashed potatoes (double yum), with plain ol' baked potatoes--you name it, I've done it.  So when I was trying to figure out what I would serve this round of pulled pork with, it all seemed like it had been done before.  Most likely because it had.

You'll notice, though, that while the potatoes seemed boring, the pulled pork never does.  It never gets old.  Have you made this yet, by the way?  You should.

Anyway, after spending way too much time trolling my usual food blogs and websites, I decided on twice-baked potatoes, not really because they go well with pulled pork, which they did, but because I hadn't had them in forever, for some reason they reminded me of my childhood, and they looked soft and cheesy and good.

Twice-baked potatoes are actually super simple to make.  First, bake two russet potatoes in a hot oven for about an hour, or until fork tender.  Once the potatoes are finished, remove them from the oven, and cut them in half.  With an oven mitt on one hand and a spoon in the other, hold the potatoes and scoop out all the hot, baked goodness in the middle. 

You'll be left with four empty potato skins, and a bowl of steaming hot potato insides.  To that steaming hot bowl, add about 4 tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 cup of fat free sour cream (or full fat, your choice.  I think they taste exactly the same so I go for fat free).  Stir together until the butter was melted and the potatoes had the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Then season with salt and pepper and stir again.

Next, take the empty potato skins and fill them with your mashed potato mixture.  Here's where you could top with bacon, chives, scallions--whatever.  I didn't use bacon because we were already having pork, and because I thought that the richness of the butter, sour cream, and cheese would suffice.  If you want more of a restaurant-style twice-baked potato, definitely add the bacon. 

Top these with shredded cheddar cheese and put back in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted. 

There's something that seems sort of retro about twice-baked potatoes.  I feel like they were a staple in a 1970's kitchen and now are only seen recreated for wedding dinners.  Regardless of if this is true or not, I think that twice baked potatoes should be made more often because they're delicious, easy, and are a nice change of pace from your run-of-the-mill mashed potatoes. 

And they go with pulled pork, so there's that.

1 comment:

  1. Pull pork was a hit in my house, made it last night, I have to confess I added onions and cabbage at the end (Kailua pork Hawaiian style)