Friday, October 15, 2010

Twice-Baked Potatoes (aka Once Grilled & Once Microwaved)

When my daughter and I visited my dad, we pretty much cleaned out his freezer supply of twice-baked potatoes that my sister makes for him. K liked them so much, that she asked me to get the recipe and make some to keep on-hand for snacks. Baking the potatoes in the oven heated the camper up so much, that I adapted the recipe to do the cooking on the grill - works out great!

I buy a 5 lb. bag of baking potatoes, and make a HUGE batch - these things go fast at our place! Wash and scrub the potatoes with a brush, pat them dry, and rub a light coat of extra virgin olive oil on the skins. I place them on an insulated baking sheet on the grill, and cook them on low for 2 hours, turning them once after an hour.

Let them cool off for 10 or 15 minutes; Cut each one in half lengthwise along the skinny side so that there's a nice wide shell for filling.

Use a spoon to scoop out the cooked potatoes, leaving about 1/4 inch along the skin. In a large mixing bowl, mash the cooked potatoes to the desired consistency - I like to get rid of most of the big chunks, but I don't try to make it as smooth as mashed potatoes.

Add 1 cup of light buttermilk, and 1 cup of fat free sour cream. Now, this is where I kind of wing it, but it always turns out nicely...pinch a nice fistful of shredded 2% sharp cheddar for each potato you cooked (e.g. 10 potatoes=10 healthy pinches of cheese). I use the same haphazard measuring technique to add chives - use 2 or 3 chive leaves per potato, and snip them with kitchen scissors. Add one 3 oz. package of real bacon bits (Publix makes good ones.) And finally, toss in 1/2 tsp. of sea salt. (I forgot the salt in this batch, but it still tasted fine.) Mix the ingredients well.

Start with the nicest shells, and heap them full of the potato mixture. This particular 5 lb. bag yielded 24 filled shells. Stick them in Ziplocs in the fridge or for longer storage, the freezer. Microwave them when you're ready for munchies...they're wonderful. The teens around here rip through them like a swarm of locusts!

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