Gary often says that when he arrived in Texas from Portland, Oregon he had a twice baked potato and never left. In honor of my love and his upcoming birthday later this week, here is a tasty recipe for twice baked potatoes the Gary way, using cream cheese and a touch of cheve instead of sour cream (he isn’t a fan of the later, but you still need something to make the potatoes creamy.) We also made in slightly healthier than the traditional version, using low fat cheese, fat free milk and created in a mini size, using baby red potatoes instead of traditional large baking potatoes. Perfect as an appetizer or a side dish. Add some shredded chicken or brisket, or ground beef into the mixture before stuffing the spuds for a heartier dish perfect as a main served with a fresh green salad.
Mini Twice Baked Potatoes with Bacon and Chives
2 pounds small red potatoes, washed
1 cup low fat, shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons low fat or fat free milk
1 heaping tablespoon low fat cream cheese
2 teaspoons herb or plain goat cheese
1-2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
4 slices extra crispy cooked bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a stock pot with water and salt generously. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain and let cool. Slice the potatoes in half and using a small ice cream scoop or spoon scoop a small amount of the potato out of the shell, leaving the rounded half shell of the potato in-tact. Scoop into a bowl. Lay the potato halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Once all the potatoes have been scooped add the cheese, milk, and half the chives to the potatoes and using a potato masher combine well. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, taste and adjust any seasoning to your taste.
Using a small spoon scoop a bit of the mixture into each potato half. Add a bit of chopped bacon to the top of each potato. Drizzle the entire sheet with the two tablespoons of butter (melted) or olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese starts to bubble. Remove from the oven and plate on a pretty serving dish garnished with the remaining chives. Serve warm.