Twice Baked Potatoes

Hey! Madeline Gayle, Potatoe Ho here! Although I posted this recipe earlier in the year, I'm updating it specifically for the inaugural Potato Ho posting!

SpudWhy? Because these are awesome! And versatile! And it's hot out and I didn't want to re-bake it in the middle of July!

I originally started making these to use up leftover ham from the holidays. At least that's what I told the family! Frankly, I just love potatoes! And these have turned out to be very popular. How popular? My daughters started inviting crowds of teenage boys over every time I made them. Souls were bargained over who could take leftover potatoes home with them. The recipe started as "feeds 6" and ended up as "feeds 12-15". Other folks have evolved the recipe, substituting ranch dressing for the sour cream, eliminating the ham, adding broccoli, roasting asparagus to go on top. There's really no wrong way to make them! On cheesy binges, I've even cubed up sharp cheddar and stirred it into the filling so there's melty goodness inside! But no matter how you make them... it's all about the spud! Enjoy!

The recipe should feed 12:

Buy some baking potatoes. Bake 'em. I usually bake 9-12. Don't wrap in foil. Do wash them and poke them with a fork. With that many potatoes, I bake at 390-400 degrees for an hour to an hour and 10 minutes. Just poke 'em with a fork to see if they're done. If they aren't tender, you're going to have VERY chunky filling!

While they bake, cut up your ham and cheese. Put the broccoli in the steamer but don't start it yet. You should look like this when you're ready to start.

Prep_work

Some people cut theirs in half, but I don't roll that way. I cut the "tops" off, like so... yes, the contents of the bowl are steaming. [editor's note- Asthmagirl recommends the use of the mitt in order to retain future use of hand]

Cut_tops_off

Then scoop the guts out...

Scoop_out_guts 

Get it all... (more steamy goodness... Asthmagirl is a glutton for punishment)

Get_it_all

The carcasses...

Naked_and_hollow

Time to mix up filling and get hands gunky. I just cannot stay clean when I do this! Start with one stick butter, cut up a little (I used to use more, but cut back due to TOG). Add a splash of non fat milk to loosen the texture. You could use more butter and skip the milk. This is just a really flexible recipe depending on how many you're making...

Butter

Add Sour Cream (sorry, it's fat free, blame TOG). I used about 2/3 of the container for 9 spuds... Tillamook- From the land of cheese, trees and ocean breeze...

Sour_cream

You can add salt and pepper here folks, or cayenne or whatever floats your boat. I'm pretty basic. Start mixing... Stop to test... Using clean finger, test for texture. Waste not, want not... how does it taste? (I added a little more sour cream... and the finger really was clean!)

Testing

Add ham. I don't know how much. I just cut a bunch up. I hate to skimp on it though...

Dump

Mix a little, then finish stirring by hand. Kiss your clean fingers goodbye.

And_mix

Mix

Start filling those lonely shells with creamy goodness. Your clean fingers are but a distant memory... Thank goodness they started off clean! I guess you could use two spoons to do this but I'm not against getting my hands in there.

Fill_more

Add cheese (Avert your eyes Amy!). I used to dice it up and put it in the filling with the ham (as well as putting it on top) but those days are over...

Cheesy_goodness

Ready to bake: Back in the oven at 400 for like 10-15 minutes or however long ... I start cleaning up, but you could go tweeze your brows or drink some fruity rum beverages...

Oven_ready

And they're done... Spud heaven folks. And you've used up all your ham and cheese... And your entire family will dance around you singing your praises. You rule!

Wow