Last week Elizabeth from Life on Hushabye Farm posted a pic on Instagram of her baked potatoes and I realised I hadn’t made them in ages. So at the weekend I made a blast of my Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes. I was glad to have them when I came home dejected from watching Munster crash out of the European Cup, I just reheated one for a quick meal. Home from the pub sadly, not Bordeaux. As I ate them I contemplated posting them to the blog. I was thinking do people really need a recipe for baked potatoes? Then I spotted a recipe in Felicity Cloake’s A-Z of Eating for Chorizo Baked Potatoes with Avocado Crema and if it’s good enough for Felicity it’s certainly good enough for me!
Use whatever potatoes you like yourself for baking. I usually use Roosters or Maris Pipers. I cannot stress this highly enough – make sure you prick the potatoes well before baking them. You only need to clean exploded potatoes out of your oven once to learn your lesson on that, believe me!
As these take so long to bake I usually do a load of them as you can freeze them before the second bake and they are great to bring to work for lunch. They reheat in a microwave in about 3 minutes. Play around with the toppings and fillings to suit your own tastes.
Useful tips & links:
- I bake my potatoes in the oven. Now I know that plenty of people do them in the microwave so you can do that if you prefer.
- These keep for a couple of days in the fridge and you can also freeze them. Assemble them up to a point of filling the potato skins and when you are ready to eat them, top with cheese and do the second bake .
- These would make a great side for your next barbecue. Simply make ahead, wrap them in foil and reheat them on the barbecue while you cook your meat.
- This recipe uses about a half a tub of creme fraiche. If you are anything like me, your fridge is full of half used tubs. If you want to use your leftover creme fraiche this Warm Chicken and Bacon Salad with Honey and Mustard Dressing uses creme fraiche in the dressing.
- For a more substantial meal, Beef Chilli or these Proper Baked Beans would make excellent toppings.
- For a different twist have a look at these Asian Slaw Baked Potatoes on Potato.ie. Yes, a whole website dedicated to potatoes!
Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes
- 4 baking potatoes, weighing approximately 300g
- Salt and pepper
- 50g of butter
- 125ml of creme fraiche
- 125g of smoked streaky bacon
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Wash the potatoes and sprinkle salt over them. Place them on a baking sheet and pierce several times on top with a knife. Make sure you do this to allow steam to escape as they bake, see my notes about exploding potatoes!
- Bake the potatoes for approximately an hour although they may need up to another 15 minutes. They are done when you can easily pierce them with a knife. When they are baked take them out of the oven and set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.
- Meanwhile, grill your bacon until it is crispy and drain it on kitchen paper. When it is cool crumble it into little pieces.
- When you can handle the potatoes divide them in 2, not quite in half, you want the potato skin large enough to hold plenty of filling. See as per photos.
- Scoop the potato out with a spoon leaving a little potato in the edge of the skins that you will be stuffing so that the skin holds its shape and dosn’t collapse into itself. Discard the smaller ‘halves’ of the potato skins.
- Mash the scooped out potato flesh in a bowl and add in the butter and creme fraiche as you mash. Season with some pepper, mix in most of the crumbled bacon, the spring onions and stir it all well together. Taste the filling to see if you need more seasoning, there should be enough salt, and if you want more moisture add a little more creme fraiche.
- Carefully fill the four potato skins with the mash mixture. If you are keeping them til later you can wrap them up now. When ready to bake top with some grated cheddar and the remaining crumbled bacon. Baked in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the potato filling is just starting to brown a bit.