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Posts tagged ‘twice-baked potatoes’

Let It Out

I have to tell you something about Thunder, lest you think she spends her entire day flying around saving babies:

She whines.  She whines extra on Mondays because she’s not an idiot–she knows Mondays are crap.

So this morning I got to thinking:  maybe you’re whining too.  Maybe you need some moral support.  Maybe you need a soundtrack that you can put on in the background while you let it out.

Well here you go, friends.  Let it all out.

~~~

Thunder’s not the only one sulking around here.

I wanted to make something to get us in the fall spirit, you see, but nothing has turned out right.

Last week I experimented with practically every fruit and vegetable in the pantheon of autumn fruits and vegetables.

One of the cranberry tarts was pretty.

But only for the first 20 minutes.  Then it sort of deflated.  It got shiny and weird looking, and it didn’t taste awesome.

I made a cauliflower gratin that was grey.

And I made no less than three sub-par kale and sausage stuffings.

Then on Thursday we had a dinner party.  For some reason, I thought I could make chicken in a mushroom cream sauce without a recipe.  It was bubbling away, looking good, when I sat down to salad with my guests.  But when I returned to the kitchen, everything had changed.  The wheels had come off the chicken bus, as it were.   The cream sauce had turned yellow and thickened. . .big-time.   It looked like the chicken à la king we got at my elementary school cafeteria in the ’80s.

I dumped my glass of wine in the pan, to thin it out a little.

I wanted to ditch the chicken and skip to dessert, but Scott was all, “IT’S OKAY! WE CAN COVER IT UP WITH RAVIOLI!”

So we did.  We served mushroom ravioli on a bed of chicken à la king. 

It was horrifying.

Last night, with much trepidation, I returned to the kitchen with a recipe I know and love.  I made my friend Rebekah’s twice-baked potatoes.  The recipe is tried and true; the potatoes are simple and delicious.  There was no whining–from any corner–over these beauties.

Rebekah’s Twice-Baked Potatoes {Download & Print Recipe}

Ingredients: {makes 6 halves}

3 medium russet potatoes

2 Tbsp. of olive oil (or a little bacon grease, for the true Southern experience)

a few dashes of kosher salt

4 Tbsp. butter (half a stick), cut into a bunch of smaller pats

3 oz.+ whipped cream cheese spread (buy an 8-0z. container)

1/4 c.+ heavy whipping cream (buy a half pint)

salt and pepper

1 1/2 c.  grated cheddar cheese

a dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Thoroughly scrub and dry the potatoes.  Poke a bunch of holes in each with a fork.  Rub olive oil or bacon grease into the skins, coating them thoroughly.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake 45 minutes to an hour or more, until they give a little when handled with a potholder or they’re tender when pierced with a fork (it’ll depend on the size of your potatoes).  Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool enough to handle (or just proceed, holding them in a towel or something).  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the insides with a spoon and transfer the insides to a mixing bowl.  Be careful to leave a little potato flesh on the skins so that the potato skin stays up like a canoe.  (If you dig too much out from the side walls, the papery skins will tear or collapse inwards and it’ll be harder to fill.)

Add the butter and the whipped cream cheese to the baked potato and beat in a mixer until smooth.  (If you don’t have a mixer, you could use a potato smasher.)  Beat in the cream and some salt and pepper.  Taste it.  Here’s where I usually add more whipped cream cheese and more cream because, you know, what the heck.  Some people also throw in pieces of bacon, green onions, and some grated cheddar at this point.

Mound the baked potato mixture into the potato skins you hollowed out.  It’s okay if the filling rises above the brim of the skin.  Sprinkle some of the grated cheddar cheese on top of each and then sprinkle with a dash of cayenne if you want.  Place the potatoes back on the baking sheet and return them to the oven until they’re heated through and the cheese is melted.  Serve.