Cooking On A Budget: Twice Baked Potatoes

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Twice Baked Potatoes

New Year's Eve dinner ~ lobster, zucchini saute and these fabulously delicious Twice Baked Potatoes

Before I begin my journey in 2016 to loose weight, one last splurge of 2015 was in order. I got three lobsters at my local grocery store, some baking potatoes and some zucchini. The entire dinner cost just $31.85, feeding two for $15.92. We thought that a fair and albeit frugal price for a special dinner. It was as good as eating out at any good restaurant!
These twice baked potatoes take a bit longer obviously than plain baked potatoes, but it's so worth it. So when you are celebrating a special occasion or entertaining family or friends, these will really impress them.

For us, my husband made 2 large stuffed potatoes. He sliced the tops off to do this, however this recipe is for serving four persons by splitting the baked potato in half. That really is an adequate portion when making these for a family of four and serving with another vegetable and a protein.
  • 2 large Russet baking potatoes
  • sour cream
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup half and half (approximately)
  • 2 tbsp.  freeze dried chives - or fresh
  • pinch onion powder
  • Paprika (for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Purchase large baking (russets) potatoes. Figure on one half per person. Wash them and make a 1 inch long slit in each one so they don't burst during the baking process.
  2. Start the potatoes in the microwave if you own one. Hit the potato button 3 times. Then, bake the potatoes in a 350 degree oven until a fork can easily be inserted.
  3. Split the potato in half length wise and scoop out the potato, leaving just a little of the potato on the skin. Place the scooped out potato in a bowl. While you are making the mixture, put the skins back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes more to firm up.
  4. To the potato add salt and pepper to taste, the onion powder, softened butter.
  5. Mash the potato and add in some fresh or dried chives with the half and half and sour cream. If the mixture is too thick, add a touch more half and half. You can make them creamy or less creamy with some texture depending on your taste. At this point taste and adjust for seasoning and mix well.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins and top with additional chives and a light sprinkle of paprika for color and flavor.
  7. Place the filled potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the mixture is hot and the tops are a light golden color and the insides are hot, about 20-30 minutes.
  8. NOTE: If you've made them the day before, obviously you'll have to re-bake them longer. Take them out of the fridge at least an hour or two before and then bake for about 40-60 minutes. Insert a knife in the center and test it by touching the knife with your fingers to see if they are hot all the way through.
 Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Serves: 4

These potatoes are spectacular! Just remember this is a canvas so be sure to taste and adjust for additional seasoning and for adding more half and half or sour cream for your own taste. To make them a bit more decadent and get more color on top - drizzle melted butter on the tops before you bake them the second time.

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