For the Recipe Box swap this month, the theme is Holiday Favorites. I make these the day before and put them in the freezer. In the morning, I take them out and put them in the refrigerator to thaw out.
These are the BEST and I can never make enough. The kids actually fight over them. (COMPANY fights over them! hahah!)
Here is the recipe, followed by directions and photos
This is for 10 potato boats. (Warning! If you make more, do it in sets unless you have a ginormous mixer!)
Bake 5 BAKING potatoes....choose potatoes that are uniform in shape and LARGE.
Scrub your potatoes, prick with a fork and put on center rack in your oven. (Some people wrap in foil.)
Bake at 400 for an hour or until a fork pierces them easily. You can also squeeze them with a potholder but don't crush them.
Try to find potatoes of the same size so they will finish baking at the same time.
Now for the other ingredients:
1 stick softened butter
1 cup half and half (or even milk)
4 oz sour cream (to taste)
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground WHITE pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
blend all together with the potatoes adding half and half to smooth it out. You may not use all of it...it depends on how large your potatoes are.
Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, mix again
Add 10 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon***, mix again on high to beat out the big lumps.
TASTE for seasonings and adjust before putting into boats. You do not have to get all the lumps out since this is not piped into the boats.
***If your company won't eat regular bacon,use a high fat turkey bacon.
The trick is to work while they are hot so use a towel to protect your hands. Keep the other potatoes warm with a towel while you work on one potato at a time. Cut it in half and scoop out the potato right down to the peel, being careful not to tear the peel...it is delicate after baking!
As you scoop, put the scooped out potato in the large bowl on top of the butter to help melt it if you forget to soften it like I always seem to do!
Once you scoop them out they should look like this, don't scoop so much that they break the boat:
Beat well with the other ingredients I listed in the recipe. They will be sort of sticky because of the cheese, that is okay. (If you want them to be perfectly smooth, you'll need more milk and less cheese.) You can see how thick they are.
The best way to put them back into the 'boat' is to hold your spoon right above the boat. If you try to use a spatula, you get an air pocket under the potato....
When done, you'll have 10 boats. Top them with paprika and shredded cheese or leave some plain...you can always top them later.
Most of the potatoes will fit back into the shell...you might have a spoonful leftover to enjoy. If you have a lot leftover, then you have air pockets under the potatoes in the boats so go back and push them around to fit more potato into the boat.
At this point, you can put them into the oven to bake...they are already cooked so you are just browning the top. OR YOU CAN FREEZE SOME!
If you freeze some, freeze them on the tray and then transfer them to freezer baggies. Just remember to thaw them out before cooking.
I usually freeze mine and then put them in with the turkey the last 30 or so minutes with foil over them. Then remove the foil to brown while cooking rolls, etc.
Bake at 4o0 to brown quickly or 350 if cooking with something else.
The best part is where the stuffed part of the potato meets the little bit of baked potato left in the boat...YUM!