They taste as good as they look! Baked Russet Potatoes stuffed with crumbled bacon, extra sharp cheddar cheese, fresh chives and spices! If you wish to do so, you can leave out the bacon and make this a lacto vegetarian recipe. That potato weighed just a bit over 15 ounces. 1/2 half of it is more than enough for a healthy side dish; almost enough for a meal all by its self!
Step 1: INGREDIENTS (for 1 Potato or 2 Servings of 1/2 Potato Each)
- 1 Large Baking Potato (15 .oz +-)
- 1 thick slice Bacon (that photo features 2 halves of one regular thick slice)
- 1/4 cup Sargento's shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 large brown egg
- 1 TBS chopped fresh chives
- 1/8 teaspoon dry crushed rosemary
- 1/8 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- *1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper - used to coat raw potato before baking.
- *1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt - used to coat raw potato before baking
- *1 teaspoon Louanna 100% pure Coconut Oil - used to coat raw potato before baking
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 TBS unsalted butter
- *NOTE: As described in the next step, items 10, 11, & 12 are mixed together and used as a rub for to coat the Russet Potato before baking.
Step 2: PREPARE AND BAKE POTATO; COOK BACON
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil (or cooking oil of your choice) together in a small glass bowl.
- Generously rub and coat all sides of the potato with this mixture.
- Place the coated potato in the oven and bake for 75 minutes (1 + 1/4 hours). Bake it directly on an oven rack (place a cookie sheet or sheet of aluminum foil on the lower rack to catch any drippings (helps to keep your oven clean).
- Remove potato when done and let it cool on a rack until cool enough to handle.
- *NOTE: Since the oven is already hot enough (400 f), this is a good time to cook the bacon. I like to place the bacon on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil (to catch the bacon grease) and bake it for 13 or 14 minutes. Since most ovens to not cook food evenly, I rotate the bacon pan 180 degrees after 6 or 7 minutes).
- When the bacon is done, let it drain on paper towels until read to use.
Step 3: PREPARE THE STUFFING
- When the baked potato has cooled off enough to handle, carefully split it into two even sides.
- Scoop out the "meat," and place it in a medium-sized mixing bowl. (Leave about 1/4" of flesh around the perimeter and bottom of the shell (helps to hold it together).
- Crumble the bacon into the mixing bowl.
- Add the spices and herbs: 1 pinch (about 1/8th teaspoon) each, dried thyme, rosemary, and freshly grated nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper.
- Chop the fresh chives and add 1 TBS to the mixing bowl.
- Mix everything together (I like to use my old fashioned potato masher to do this).
- Lightly beat the egg with a fork and add it to the mixture, and stir to thoroughly mix everything together.
Step 4: STUFF AND BAKE THE POTATO SHELLS
- Stuff the potato skins with equal amounts of the stuffing mixture; pressing it down to achieve maximum capacity.
- Refrigerate until ready to use (refrigerating for a hour or two, or three, helps the stuffing to remain firm). You could probably fry the stuffed potatoes immediately, but I think refrigerating them for a while helps them to hold together long enough for them to become crisp and brown on top while in the frying pan:
When ready to fry
- Heat 2 TBS of *clarified butter over medium-high heat in a heavy non-stick skillet.
- While the butter is heating, remove the stuffed potato skins from the refrigerator and microwave on high for 40 seconds.
- Dust them with with Cayenne Pepper (you could use paprika, especially smoked paprika, if you do not like cayenne pepper).
- Test the clarified butter to make sure that it is hot; carefully flip a drop or two of tap water into the pan. When it pops and sizzles, it's ready!
- Place the stuffed potato skins into the pan skin-side up and fry undisturbed for at least 5 minutes; then you can peak! (I have actually lifted them up a little and let the hot clarified butter drift under them so as to achieve maximum effect).
- When they are nicely browned, remove from the pan and let them drain on paper towels for a minute or two, then serve!
- *PLEASE NOTE: I have tried making this recipe using just plain unsalted butter as opposed to clarified unsalted butter and it did not work as well. I could not heat the plain unsalted butter hot enough to brown the stuffed potato skins before they started sticking to the non-stick (?) pan since butter does not have a high enough smoking point. They tasted very good, but I had to scraped some of the browned potato off of the bottom of the pan. While a bit laborious to make, the clarified butter worked perfectly!
Step 5: TIME TO EAT . . .
A few slices of hot roast beef Au jus and a glass of good red wine make great accompaniments for this tasty Fried Baked Stuffed Potato. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.
(I have prepared the nutritional evaluation for this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer; just click on the image to enlarge it).