Thursday, July 22, 2010

Filling up the freezer: Twice bake potatoes!

Twice baked potatoes show up often at our house around dinner time, so often in fact, I may need to give them a coat hook in the mud room. My kids love them, my hubby eats them up and since I make them in bulk they are an side on those nights when soccer + dance + PTO= little time for dinner prep. Luckily, a couple bags of these puppies will only take a couple hours, and are a fraction of the cost of store bought ones!! Here is what you need:

  • 3-5 pounds of potatoes (you can use regular or red potatoes, I use whatever is on sale!)
  • 12 - 16 ounces of sour cream
  • a few cloves of fresh garlic, diced up pretty small
  • a stick of butter
  • Salt, pepper, seasoning salt - just a pinch of each
  • grated cheese...mmm! I prefer about 8 ounces of each extra sharp and colby jack.  WARNING: pre-grated cheese is by far inferior to it's cousin block cheese, if this were grade school kick ball grated cheese would get picked last. Take the time to grate it yourself.
  • Bacon pieces are optional, my youngest munchkin doesn't like them so I usually leave them out
First things first, send your kids& hubby out of the room, tell them that twice baked potatoes are difficult and precise therefore requiring your full attention. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and give your potatoes a good scrubbin'. Next place your scrubbed tators on a baking sheet or in a pan and pop them in the oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
This next step is super-duper important: Grab a copy of Better Home & Gardens, Redbook, People...whatever, kick your feet up and enjoy the next hour.  Go ahead, you deserve it!  Every few minutes bang a pot or pan to keep up the facade that these are indeed a gourmet as you told your adoring family.

Once the potatoes are finished baking put your magazine down and let's get to work!  First, cut them in half lengthwise, you may want to hold them in a dish towel or risk 2nd degree burns on your hands…ouch! Using a big spoon, gently scoop out the middle into a bowl, be careful so that you don’t damage the skins we need those for later.

After you have scooped them all clean,  mix the butter & sour cream into the bowl. Use a potato masher and start smashing them up, you don't want them to smooth though, a few lumps are A-OK.  If you need to add a little milk go ahead, you want them to be moist, not too dry.  The sour cream, butter, milk ratio is at your discretion, but be careful not to add too much.  Side bar to those who may not enjoy sour cream: I hate it too! It makes me gag, but I pinky-swear promise you can’t taste it.

Now, add in the seasoning salt, salt and pepper, just a pinch of each will do it, go ahead and throw in the minced garlic too. When that’s all good and mixed up start folding in some of the cheese you worked so hard to grate. Now that it's all mixed up it’s time to refill those empty skins and put them on a cookie sheet.  I use an ice cream scoop and put a scoop in each skin.  
After they are all filled up pop the whole pan in your freezer for about an hour or two to flash freeze them.  When they good and frozen and won’t mix together, start throwing them into a Ziplock bag.  I usually just put a whole bunch into big bags so I can take out what I need for dinner. 

Now, you should have roughly 2 gallon bags full of potatoes to toss into the freezer, this usually last my fam of 4 about 2 months eating them once a week or so.
When that hectic night rolls around and  it is time to cook them I pop mine in the microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften them up then finish them in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Feel free to add bacon, chopped green onions (don’t add green onions before freezing, they get gross), more cheese whatever makes your heart content. Enjoy!

    1 comment:

    1. Hey Stacey, maybe you can come up here and give me a little tip on how you do it all, I love how your house is decoratated.