I love to cook. Love. But lets face it. I have four children, six and under. The opportunity to immerse myself in the kitchen doesn't always present itself. For this reason, I have several recipes in my arsenal that allow me to 're-purpose' (if you will) my meal into something else the next day. Last night we had a baked potato bar with our steaks. I loved bars of any kid, because the kids have fun being able to create their own meals, and I love seeing them get creative in the kitchen. Tonight, I will use the ingredients of my potato bar, to make Twice Baked Potatoes- a meal on its own if accompanied by a salad or other vegetable. I simply baked more potatoes than we would need last night, and saved them for tonight.
Twice Baked Potatoes don't have to be re-purposed... they are quite delicious on their own, or accompanying a meal at any time. Personally? I like the play on twice baking the twice baked (say that five times fast).
First Bake: Baked Potato Bar
6-10 Russet potatoes (extra for the next night)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400. While heating, scrub potatoes well. Pat dry and pierce skin several times with a fork. Pour a generous amount of sea salt on to a paper plate. Using you hands rub a generous amount of olive oil on the skin of each potato, and roll potatoes in salt.
Place on oven rack. I tend to roast potatoes in the upper 3rd of my oven, placing a jelly-roll pan that's been lined with tin foil on the bottom rack underneath potatoes to catch any olive oil drips. Bake for 45-60 minutes, testing with fork for tenderness. The fork should go in easily when done.
For the potato bar, I simply provided butter, sour cream, chopped onions, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese in bowls for people to add to their potatoes as desired-- then added the leftovers to my twice baked potatoes tonight.
Second Bake: Twice Baked Potatoes
6 Baked Potatoes (see above)
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of salted butter
1/2 cup of sour cream
4-6 green onions, sliced
6 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled (you can omit bacon if not handy, or if not using as a stand alone dish)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the top off of baked potatoes, leaving about 1/8 of an inch of potato flesh attached to skin, to provide some stability.
Do this for all six potatoes, and mash by hand using a potato masher or fork. Add cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and bacon. Stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into potato skins, and cover with the removed top. Return to oven and cook for 15-20 minutes more (if making immediately).
If this is a second bake - cook for 30-40 minutes until potato is hot throughout.
Tip: If you are using pre-cooked potatoes from the night before, you will need to melt the 1/4 of butter before adding to the potato flesh, as it will not be warm enough to melt the butter on it's own.