Friday, July 15, 2011

Bleu Cheese Twice Baked Potato

Place oven rack in the center position and preheat to 400 degrees.  Using a vegetable brush, scrub well the outside of small Idaho (Russet) Baking Potatoes, 1 per person plus 1 extra in case 1 breaks while filling.  Bake potatoes for 55 minutes.  While potatoes are baking, cook Applewood Bacon (1 strip for every 2 potatoes) until crispy.  When bacon cools, crumble it with a knife or by hand and set aside.  Thinly slice 2 Large Shallots (for every 4 potatoes).  Heat a small skillet and add 2 Tbl Vegetable Oil.  Add shallots and cook until golden and crispy.  Drain on a paper towel and set aside. Remove potatoes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Use a paring knife to cut open the tops of each potato. Make two elliptical cuts from end to end in order to create a nice size opening.  Discard the top skin and remove the insides into a bowl.  For every 4 potatoes, add 1/4 Cup of Sour Cream and 4 oz your favorite Bleu Cheese.   Stir with a fork to combine.  The potatoes should still be slightly lumpy and the cheese not completely broken up.  Refill the potatoes with the mixture.  When ready to serve preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 20 minutes or until hot all the way through. Top with shallots and bacon and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes and serve.  These can be held in a warm oven set at 250 if you aren't ready to eat.  Additionally, you can bake the potatoes and prep them in the morning and hold them in the refrigerator until ready to bake for the 2nd time.  Delicious with a sliced grilled sirloin steak and a salad.

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