Okay, so remember back in the day when I promised recipes for side dishes? Yah, I forgot too! Well, today I have one for you. It is something we have all eaten and something my kids love. I mean L-O-V-E, can't get enough, will eat almost any day of the week, LOVE. So, thinking about how my 6 yr old begged to take one of the leftover potatoes in her lunch today (so gross - imagine a cold leftover potato in your lunchkit?), I decided maybe this would be a good one to share!
Anyway, this is less a recipe than a method and you can totally go with what floats your boat. This is the basic and you can change it up as the mood hits you or with whatever ingredients you have in your little fridgedaire.
Baked Stuffed Potatoes
4 medium to large potatoes (I like the brown russets as they bake up the best and make the best stuffers)
1/3 c sour cream
1/4 c butter
salt and pepper
6-8 slices bacon, cook crisp and crumbled
4-6 green onions sliced (green and white parts)
2 c cheddar cheese (medium is good, sharp is better)
milk as needed
Preheat oven to 350F. Pierce potatoes with fork or knife several times in various spots. Wrap tightly in foil, covering completely. Put potatoes on rack in oven until they are soft enough for you to squeeze them and make a dent (usually 45-1 hr). Cool until you can handle them - we do not want any burned fingers here!
Unwrap the potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon or a melon baller, scoop out inside, leaving a 1/4-1/2 inch rim around outside to hold skin together. Put all of that potato goodness into a bowl. Place hollowed out skins in a buttered glass dish (9x13 holds this amount perfectly). In the bowl with the potatoes, put in the butter and sour cream. Mash with a potato masher until just mixed together and the filling resembles mashed potatoes. It does not need to be smooth here people but if that is the way you like it, go the extra mile. Stir in the bacon and green onion and about 1/2-3/4 c of the cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste - watch out, the bacon is salty so go easy on it. Spoon this deliciousness into the shells evenly. You can mound it up if you like. Try to resist the urge to take a huge bite of the bacony-cheesy goodness. If you fail, lick your lips to hide the evidence. Cover each potato with a generous helping of cheddar. Pop back into the oven for another 15 minutes until it is all hot and bubbly.
There are as many variations to these potatoes as your imagination holds. Try them with diced red peppers, green onions and jalapeno jack cheese, broccoli, bacon and cheddar, swiss cheese and spinach, bacon and blue cheese .... the possibilities are truly endless!
That is it folks - these are perfect with just about ANYTHING! Ribs, chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops ... you name it! Go ahead and make some for your family. I bet they will thank you for it!