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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Twice Baked Broccoli Potatoes

I do love a Bennigan's/TGIF/Buffalo Wild Wings type of potato skin, but it's one of those recipes that I'll only make if I do up a bunch all at once to freeze ahead.  Baking, then scooping, then mixing, then refilling isn't hard exactly, but it is fussier than I am willing to do usually...unless I can load the work on the front end and do next to nothing on the back end.

If you make these to freeze, be sure to freeze the potato halves on a tray first, then bag them.  You can pull out the whole batch if you want or just cook a couple.  If you cook these from their frozen state, put a small pat of butter or margarine on the top before baking.  The freezer tends to dry food out, so you need a bit of food moisturizer (i.e. butter) when you bake.

Twice Baked Broccoli Potatoes
Makes about 8 large servings

3 lbs. russet potatoes (about 4 large, or a 3 lb. bag of small and medium potatoes)
2 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen, cooked thoroughly and chopped finely
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth or milk

Pierce potatoes and bake in the microwave.  Start checking them a couple of minutes before the timer is done.  You want them cooked through but not mushy.

Carefully (cuz they're hot) cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and let them cool.  Try to make your lengthwise cut through the thinnest aspect of the potato, to leave yourself a nice wide, flat bottom to rest each half on.

When the potatoes are cooled, scoop the middles out into a bowl.  Leave about a 1/4" shell on the potato skins (this doesn't have to be perfect).  Mash the potato innards, adding cheese, sour cream, broth and pepper to make a smooth, creamy mixture.  Stir in broccoli florets.  Pack mashed potato-cheese-broccoli mixture back into the potato halves, mounding slightly.  Freeze on a tray, then bag and label these for later cooking.

To cook, preheat oven to 350F for freshly prepared potato halves or 400F for frozen potato halves (put a small pat of butter or margarine on each potato if cooking from frozen).  Bake 30 minutes, until heated through.  If desired, turn on broiler and broil potatoes for 2-3 minutes until tops are lightly browned. Pin It

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