Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
- 4 large Idaho baking potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
- 1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided use
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped chives or green onions
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Sweet Hungarian paprika (optional)
Rub potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Prick in several spots with a fork. Place on a shallow baking pan 6 inches apart and bake until center is soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each one in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the soft flesh, leaving 1/4-inch rim around the potato skin, and place flesh in a mixing bowl. Set skins aside to stuff later.
Mash the potatoes with a fork or masher (do not use a mixer). A few small lumps are good for flavor and texture, so do not try to get them perfectly smooth. Stir in bacon bits, 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, salt, and pepper .
Spoon or pipe mashed potato mixture into the potato skins and return to the baking tray. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and optional paprika. (May be made in advance to this point. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.)
Return to the 400-degree F. oven and bake about 30 minutes until potatoes are lightly browned and heated through.
Yield: 8 servings as a side dish
Photo © 2006 Peggy Trowbridge, licensed to About.com, Inc.