I tend to get really lazy about cooking when my husband is out of town, which is good in some ways. More salads, fewer rich cream sauces, less red meat. But my husband’s gone a lot so eventually I get bored with whatever I’m doing and have the urge to cook something a little more time-consuming and artery clogging. This week I had an overwhelming desire for a baked potato smothered in butter and sour cream, so I made one. Actually, I baked two, but of course could only eat one, leaving me with a cold, baked potato. Exciting.

I thought I’d use it for making breakfast the next day, but that’s crazy talk because I almost never eat breakfast. Next I decided I’d throw it away and serves me right for being an idiot and cooking too much. But then an idea occurred to me: twice bake it!

twice-baked-shellsI started by frying two slices of bacon (I should have used at least three, maybe 4). I chopped the bacon and set aside, and hollowed out the potato skins. I rubbed the insides of the potatoes with some of the bacon grease and stuck them in a 350 degree oven to warm up. I was hoping they’d crisp up some but I didn’t leave them in long enough. Should have been 20 minutes or more.

twice-baked-fillingIn a bowl I used a potato masher to smash up the cold potato innards, then added 2 tablespoons of sour cream, an ounce of grated cheddar cheese and the chopped bacon. Really, I should have gotten the beaters out and whipped the potatoes, but they were hard to work with because they were cold. As it was it was fine, just could have been better. Also could have used a little salt.

twice-baked-beforeI over-stuffed the warmed skins with the smashed potato mixture and baked on a foil-lined pan for 30 minutes. Then I turned the broiler on for 5 minutes in an attempt to crisp the tops. They tasted really good, but there was still that lingering flavor of day-old potato, which might have been resolved by whipping the potatoes with a little cream before adding the sour cream, cheese and bacon. twice-bakedAll in all, though, I’d give this recipe a solid B with room for easy improvement.