When I decided to put these twice baked potatoes on the menu plan for this week, I imagined that I would have a recipe here on the blog to consult where quantities were concerned. Well I was wrong! I seriously can't quite believe that I haven't blogged the recipe for these little darlings, mostly because they're so NICE!
Now, having made them again without following any recipe but relying on my (patchy, at best) memory of what to use and how much, I appear to have made the best version of these baked potatoes, to date. All of which necessitated a blog entry, so that I can re-create them in future.
They are very simple to make and don't take much longer than a standard jacket potato. You just need to allow a bit of time for filling the potato shells and putting them back into the oven to finally bake. Making the filling is a little bit fiddly, but can easily be done while the potatoes are baking, so no worries there.
In this instance, I served the potatoes with some leftover gammon ham, juicy tomatoes and homemade coleslaw. However, finding something to serve them with really shouldn't be difficult - they can be lunch, the star of the show, a side dish or even a standalone item in a finger buffet (so long as you let them cool down a bit!).
So the next time you find yourself with two rashers of bacon that are homeless - break out the twice baked potato and do yourself a super-tasty favour.
BACON & CHEDDAR TWICE BAKED POTATOES (serves 3)
3 large baking potatoes (floury are best - I like Marabel type)
a drizzle of rapeseed or olive oil
sea salt & ground black pepper
2 rashers of smoked back bacon
1 heaped tsp of sour cream or mayonnaise
1 tsp of wholegrain mustard
2-3 spring onions, sliced finely on the diagonal
200g & 50g mature cheddar cheese, grated.
Pre-heat your oven to 200degC/400degF/Gas 6.
Taking each baking potato, cut each in half long-ways. Shave a tiny amount from the underside of each half, so that it will sit level and steady on a baking tray.
Drizzle each half with oil and season lightly with sea salt & black pepper, then place into the oven - on a high rack - to bake for 45mins.
While the potatoes are baking, make the filling.
Grill the two rashers of bacon until cooked through and the fat rendered, but not crispy. Set them aside to cool.
Into a large heatproof bowl, place the spring onions, sour cream, mustard and bulk of the cheese. Reserve the 50g of cheese for sprinkling over the filled potatoes. Cut the bacon into tiny pieces and add to the bowl.
When the potatoes are soft and baked golden brown on top, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in order for them to be handled. Using a teaspoon, gently remove the bulk of the cooked flesh from inside each half and add it to the filling bowl. Replace the empty shell onto the baking tray.
Once each potato is done, break up the potato flesh using a fork and mix lightly into the rest of the ingredients. Taste for seasoning and add more if necessary.
Spoon the filling back into the shells, making sure not to pack it down. Leave each spoonful light and airy for a deliciously luscious look. Once the filling is evenly distributed, divide the remainder of the grated cheese between each potato half, sprinkling it over the top.
Place the potatoes back into the oven for 15-20 mins until golden brown and delicious.
Serve with your choice of accompaniment.