Most artists work in oil or marble. My mama works in tater.
Last weekend, Jeff and I helped my parents move many large pieces of furniture, mainly because Mama bribed us with the promise of her Loaded Baked Potatoes.
They come with all the fixings you’d expect: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives and – be still my heart – bacon. But she also has a secret. Before her potatoes go into the oven, she rubs each one with extra-virgin olive oil and pats on some Kosher salt. So, the skins gets crisp and have a nice salty bite. I’ve seen Jeff eat the filling and then fold the potato skin and eat it like a taco.
No flavor wasted.
This is definitely a taste-as-you-go recipe, so just use these measurements as a jumping-off point. Sometimes I mix our potato fillings in separate bowls, so I can prep mine with Things Jeff Won’t Eat (i.e. mushrooms, spinach, red peppers, goat cheese).
Customization is a beautiful thing.
Loaded Baked Potatoes
From Rebecca Crump (Ezra Pound Cake)
- 4 large baking potatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound bacon, chopped (optional)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives (or 1 green onion, sliced)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Scrub the potatoes, rub them with olive oil, and pat on Kosher salt. Place potatoes on baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- If You’re Adding Bacon: In a sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Slice 1/4 of the top off of each potato. Using a spoon, scrape out most of the flesh of each potato into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add butter, milk, sour cream and 1 cup cheese. Mash with a potato masher or a fork. Taste, and adjust the recipe to your taste, if necessary.
- Fold in chives, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon the filling back into the potatoes. Top with remaining cheese and the bacon, if using.
- Bake again until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Dig in!