Cooking On A Budget: Bacon, Bleu Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bacon, Bleu Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

Bacon and bleu cheese dressing share top billing in the ingredients and combine for the tastiest twice baked potatoes!

The combination of bleu cheese and bacon is not uncommon. Many restaurants add bacon bits on top of wedge salads with bleu cheese dressing. There is special chemistry between those two ingredients on their own and when you add it to the mix with baked potato ~ get ready to have your taste buds do a happy dance!

We love twice baked potatoes and they are such a great starch to have alongside a steak dinner. With a good amount of homemade bleu cheese dressing in the refrigerator and wanting to use it other than for salads or Buffalo wings, I thought incorporating it into a twice baked potato would be something a little out of the everyday.

As I have said before, my husband is my number one supporter or he's my number one critic. With that said, as we sat down for dinner last night I was waiting for a reaction from him about these out of the everyday twice baked potatoes. When I took a mouthful of the potato I was crazy happy over the taste. I was making those sounds you make when something is delicious with every bite I took of the potato. On the other hand, my husband was quiet and slowly eating the potato, steak and beans. Finally I could not stand it any longer and I said, "You must not like the potatoes as you haven't eaten much of it." (I had gobbled my portion down already.) He then broke silence and said, "I am eating slowly and savoring every bite of this dinner. And yes I think they are delicious. The whole meal is incredible." Going back for seconds on everything was my thumbs up from him and my assurance that it was indeed a hit.

For the best tasting potatoes, take the time to make my Bleu Cheese Dressing. It's the bomb!
  • 2 large russet baking potatoes
  • 4 strips cooked bacon (crispy for crumbling)
  • 1/2 cup bleu cheese dressing
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 tbsp. milk (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°. 
  2. Wash your potatoes and make a slit in them with a sharp knife.
  3. If you have a microwave use that to start the potatoes. Hit the potato button two or three times. When finished pop them in the preheated oven to bake until you can easily poke a knife in. If you are not using the microwave they will take about an hour or so to bake depending on the size.
  4. Cook your bacon, drain on paper towels and then crumble it. Set it aside.
  5. Melt the butter.
  6. When the potatoes are done, let them rest for about 10 minutes. Cut them in half lengthwise to make four portions.
  7. Scoop out the potato and place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  8. Put the empty skins back in the oven to let them firm up - about 10-15 minutes.
  9. To the potato, add in the melted butter, salt and pepper, and the bleu cheese dressing. Mash to your liking. Mash it smooth or leave some texture.
  10. Decide if you need the milk to make the mixture more smooth. Mix in the bacon.
  11. Fill each potato skin and bake in a 400° oven until the tops are a little golden brown. 

The porterhouse steaks we had for dinner are plenty for four people. In our house there will be left over steak. I cook the steaks medium rare to rare so that sliced thinly they make for a great steak sandwich the next day. We use hardwood charcoal to grill with and it is terrific for grilling. The coals get super hot quickly unlike some other charcoals. Grilling time was about 5-6 minutes tops. Our grill was at 500° and after 2 minutes I flipped the steak over; grilled for another 2 minutes and maybe a minute more on the first side. It was a perfect medium rare.

One of my keys to great grilling for steak is that really hot grill - you get good grill marks and a super sear on the outside of the steak. The fat renders nicely too. Also, there's a couple of schools of thought about when to season meats. Some proteins work better to season ahead of time, even a day ahead while others work well to season just before you grill. My own experience leads me to believe the best tasting steaks are simply seasoned with salt and pepper right before grilling. And for the salt, it's always kosher salt. I keep both kosher salt and finer ground table salt in my pantry.

I also want to tell you this again: with the green beans. Get a pot of water boiling. When it comes to a boil add salt to taste. Set a timer for 8 minutes. Drop in the green beans. Cook on medium to medium high for the 8 minutes, drain and add butter and toss. The beans are slightly el dente and ever so good.

What an incredible meal this was! Porterhouse steak, fresh green beans and of course these scrumptious Bacon, Bleu Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes. And it is affordable. Check out the costs below.

The potatoes worked out to $4.15, feeding four portions for $1.03 each. All in all the steak ($12.04), the potatoes ($4.15) and fresh green beans ($1.37) came to $17.56, feeding four people for $4.39 each this entirely delicious dinner. You can not hardly go to a fast food restaurant for the price of this entire dinner which is so very much better for you!
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