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 wrap in foil. Put in the center of the oven.
Bake at 400 for an hour or until a fork pierces them easily. Careful squeezing them with a potholder, 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. If your company won't eat regular bacon,use a high fat turkey bacon.
Mix again on high to beat out the big lumps.
TASTE for seasonings and adjust before putting into boats. If you work while the potatoes are hot, the ingredients incorporate better. These aren't piped so it doesn't really matter if there are some lumps.
The trick is to work while they are hot so use a towel to protect your hands. I use a fish boning knife for this part. Start at one end and go down the middle,
Keep the other potatoes warm with a towel while you work on one potato at a time. I leave mine in the foil until I am ready to cut them.
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 to much, it will break the boat:
If you DO break the boat, use a little cheese to mend it....the heat will melt it. Works like a charm.
Beat well with the other ingredients I listed in the recipe. They will be sticky because of the cheese, that is okay. (If you want them to be smoother, 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.
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 or two leftover to enjoy.
At this point, you can put them into the oven to bake...they are already cooked so you are just browning the top.
These freeze beautifully so I make them at least a week ahead of time.
Freeze them on the tray and then transfer them to freezer baggies. Just remember to thaw them out before cooking.
To heat for serving:
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 400 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!