You may not be pleased with me but this recipe isn’t going to have measurements…just ingredients. Don’t panic!! You can do it! The reason why I am not using exact measurements is that potatoes come in all shapes and sizes and maybe you are extra hungry and want to whip up a whole mess of them, in that case, my measurements won’t do you a whole lot of good because I only used 4 potatoes this time.
Badia Complete Seasoning (if you don’t have this you don’t need it so don’t worry!)
(for baking the potatoes)
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash your potatoes and poke a few holes in them with a fork, I stab each side twice. I have heard that this isn’t completely necessary but I always do it out of habit and I can only imagine the mess and hysteria it would cause in my dogs if they did in fact explode…after your vent holes are poked coat your potatoes with a thin layer of olive oil and coarse salt. Once the oven is heated place your potatoes directly on the grates in your oven, put a cookie sheet or two under them to catch any dripping oil. I cook my garlic at the same time because the oven needs to be the same temperature conveniently! The potatoes will take about an hour to cook but how I check to see if they are done is with an oven mitt on I give them a little squeeze, if they are soft they are done. Cut them in half and let them cook for a little bit if you have the time, they are going to be incredibly hot and it is hard to scoop out the insides when you are tossing it hand to hand playing hot potato with yourself. If you don’t have time to let them cool just keep your oven mitt on as you hold it. Scooping out the insides are the hardest because you want to be careful to not break through the skin but the more potato you can remove the more crispy the skins will be. Collect your potato in a bowl and lay your skins aside. Once you have emptied all of your potatoes put your empty halves on a cookie sheet and broil them until the skin is crispy.
Cut up a few pieces of bacon, I like to chop it pretty small so it will distribute well in the potato mixture. After the bacon is crisp add it to your potatoes. Start out by adding small chunks of butter, and pour in about a ¼ cup of milk to start. Also, chop up your roasted garlic (about 3 cloves) and add to the bowl. Then add a little of each seasoning just a couple of pinches. I mix my potatoes with a hand mixer but you can use a hand masher or even just a fork and spoon….start mixing! Continually taste it! You will need to add more seasoning, butter, and milk along the way but I find it best to slowly add that stuff in so you don’t over salt or use to much milk….we are going for mashed potatoes, not potato soup.
Once you are happy with your potatoes start spooning the mixture into the potato skin shells, add some cheddar cheese to the tops, if you really want them cheesy add some cheese to the bottom of the skins, add the potatoes then put more on the tops of the mixture. If your mixture has cooled off significantly preheat your oven to 375 and put them in for about 10 minutes to warm them through, and then after that turn on your broiler to get a little crisp on the tops. If your mixture is still warm then just put your potatoes under the broiler until the cheese melts.
Don’t forget….TASTE AS YOU MAKE!