It sounds like a waste of time, right? Why bake the potatoes twice when once has always worked so well?
American comfort food
I’m not sure when or why this was developed, but I do remember I started seeing them in the States in the ’80’s and I loved them. They are a really basic but really tasty American comfort food. If you Google ‘twice baked potatoes‘ all the first page and more of Google is filled with American recipes. I had to Google ‘twice baked potatoes uk‘ to find any mention of these on UK sites and I found a few, here and there. So here’s another one for the lovely UK readers.
Probably the most common way of preparing these involves bacon and cheddar cheese. Usually also some sort of sour cream and chives or spring onions. But there are no rules, there are no measurements. Just use whatever you like with jacket potatoes, I’d say. A UK site (BBC Good Food) suggests a combo of cream, butter and goats cheese. Mmmmm! Whatever you choose, keep in mind the ovewhelming tasty but bland flavour of the potato and try to choose fillings with a bit of kick like the tart goats cheese or chives/onions, and the saltiness of the bacon (and goats cheese).
One thing I like about these is that you can freeze them for a future meal (instructions for freezing at the bottom). And don’t forget one of the best parts about making these is the ‘discarded’ potato skins, the part you cut off can be used as a really moreish snack. But more on that next week…
How to make twice baked potatoes
You’re baking them twice because you bake them once to cook them, and a second time to bake them with their fillings. Here’s the details:
You can serve them on their own or with salad, maybe another dollop of creme fraiche on top or something else depending on what you filled them with. Easy, tasty and yes, nicely different to ‘jacket potatoes and beans’.
You can also make these ahead and freeze them really easily for a future meal. I would suggest setting them in the freezer on a baking tray until completely frozen, then take them out and wrap each one in cling film and replace in the freezer. When ready to use them you can put the unwrapped frozen potatoes directly into a preheated 180C oven, covered in foil for about 40-50 minutes then take the foil off and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Keep checking them.
For fun I might try doing this with some mini potatoes (salad potatoes). Might be a bit fiddly but would be a neat party food.
Oh, and kids love them!