When I was a little girl, we always went to Skyway East for special dinners. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Anniversaries, Promotions; you get the picture. Because I am such a creature of habit, I always (even now at 28 years old) would order the same meal. Deep fried shrimp with the salad bar and a twice baked potato. Skyway was one of those places when I was little where my brother and I were sure to be the only children in the dining room and we always had to dress up. I loved that they would have your name engraved on the matchboxes at your table and there was a cheese ball on the salad bar. But all that was nothing compared to the anticipation I felt upon ordering my twice-baked potato. I love the way the filling is creamy and cheesy and sometimes even piped in a nifty pattern. Over the years, I’ve made some fairly pathetic attempts at making twice baked potatoes or even purchased them from the (gasp!) freezer case, but nothing has compared to that memory. When Matt and I first started dating, I thought it would be fun to take him out to eat at Skyway. Not only was I disappointed to see that people now wear jeans there, but the waitress was rather snotty when telling me that they had “never” served twice baked potatoes in her 20 years of service. She’s wrong. I haven’t been back since. For Mother’s Day, I wanted beef brisket and potatoes. I got them. I made 8 potatoes, which is equal to 16 servings… all that is left from these potatoes are the 2 halves I put in the freezer last night. I might just hide them… they’re that good.
Twice Baked Potatoes
4 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed thoroughly and poked with a fork
3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 c. minced chives
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
Bake the potatoes for about an hour (or until a fork easily pokes into the flesh) at 400 degrees. When they are done cooking, allow them to cool to a comfortable temperature before slicing them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inner flesh of the potato and mix it with the butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add in the sour cream, cheese, chives and bacon. You can either mix the filling together with a sturdy spoon or use a hand mixer on a lower setting until the potatoes are fairly smooth and all the ingredients are incorporated. Using a large spoon, scoop the filling back into the potato skins, mounding it nicely. (If you have time and a large enough piping tip, you can pipe the filling as a fancier option.) Once all the potatoes are filled, bake them at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. This recipe makes enough to serve 8 people.
I made mine the night before and refrigerated them over night, putting them in a oven for a full half hour before we ate. I made a double recipe and ate more of the potatoes than I ate the brisket. And that adorable baby? He ate a potato, brisket, asparagus, and his first taste of watermelon. All that and a few hours later, he demolished another potato. It’s a winner!