Bacon-Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

Here’s a twist on my November 2011 post, “Twice Baked Goodness”, that I made today as part of my Rewarding Routines in the Kitchen!  Rewarding because we get to enjoy these tonight – and there will be more in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal after a long day at work!  Routine because it’s a few hours spent in the kitchen a couple of times a month for a freezer full of delicious and nutritious meals that are easy to prepare any night of the week!

Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

This is one of my “original” recipes I prepared in case I get the call from Rachel!  My entry into the Great American Cookbook Competition is still “pending”, so I’m adding to my repertoire while I wait.  The difference between cooking and writing a recipe is that you actually have to test out exact measurements.  Any good cook (except for bakers, of course) adds a little of this and a little of that, but committing it to writing is another story.  Bacon, cheddar, and potatoes?  You won’t be disappointed!

Bacon-Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

4 Large Baking Potatoes

1 TBSP. Butter

2 Cloves Garlic – Finely chopped or crushed

½ Cup Chicken Broth

¼ Cup Sour Cream

1 ½ Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (divided)

½ Cup Chopped Cooked Bacon

2 TBSP. Chopped Italian Parsley

¾ Tsp. Kosher Salt

½ Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Bake 4 potatoes as you would normally, or microwave them on high covered with a damp paper towel for 16 minutes, re-arranging after 8 minutes.  After they cool, slice them across the middle and scoop the potato meat out into a large bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato in the skin.

In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté garlic for about 30 seconds.  Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Pour over the potatoes and mash together with salt and pepper.  Stir in the sour cream, ½ cup cheddar cheese, the bacon and the fresh parsley.   Scoop the mashed potato mix back into the shells.  Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese evenly over each potato.  These are now ready to bake or pop into the freezer for another time.

Bake at 450 F for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Top with some sour cream, pair this with a salad and some crusty bread – and you’ve got dinner!

To prepare from the freezer, allow potatoes to defrost in the refrigerator or use the microwave on ‘defrost’ setting until thawed.  Once defrosted, bake according to recipe directions.