There’s something about the starchy tubers that can turn a bad day around. Most likely it’s the fatty butter, sour cream and salt we smother them in.
Or maybe it’s the spicy pepper jack cheese, cream cheese and bacon we stuff them with.
I think that’s definitely it.
These are twice baked Russet potatoes. The first time around they’re cooked until tender then sliced in half to get at the flesh.
It’s scooped out and mashed with butter, milk, the pepper jack and cream cheese, bacon and chives or scallions. Plus lots of salt and pepper.
The potato skins get filled back up and with a sprinkle of cheese, they’re baked a second time.
More bacon and chives go over the tops because the first round wasn’t enough.
Then you get to eat the happiness.
They’re great as a side dish, game day snack or appetizer. I thought they couldn’t get any better until next day leftovers found me topping them with a gooey fried egg.
Just like chicken, potatoes can be dull especially if you eat them often.
This makes them sparkle and shine.
- 4 medium to large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 4 slices bacon
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup milk or half & half, plus more if needed
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 + ½ cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or scallions, divided
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Poke the potatoes a few times with a fork then wrap in aluminum foil. Bake until a fork goes into them easily about 1 hour.
- Line a small baking pan with aluminum foil and lay down the bacon in a single layer. When the potatoes are cooked turn the heat down to 375 degrees F. and cook the bacon until crispy 8 - 14 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle use a grapefruit spoon to scrape the insides out leaving a border of them around the edges - don't scrape it right down to the skin - put it in a large bowl.
- Add the butter, milk, cream cheese and ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the bowl. Mash with a potato masher or with a hand mixer on low speed until combined. If the mixture seems too thick add more milk.
- Crumble or chop the bacon and add half to the potatoes with 1 cup of the cheese and 1 tablespoon of the chives or scallions. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and fill them with the potatoes. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese on the tops.
- Bake 20 minutes. To serve sprinkle with the remaining bacon and chives.