It took a few weeks, but we’ve finally reached “can’t leave the house without a hoodie or a light jacket” weather here in New England. When those early October days creep in- and bring brisk and chilly mornings and early evenings with them- nothing is better than coming home and enjoying a hot bowl of chili, or soup- or a cheesy, crispy spin on the classic baked potato to warm me up again and and satisfy any and all cravings that come with Autumnal weather.
This recipe, which only takes a few ingredients and roughly thirty minutes to prepare and serve- is ridiculously easy and is sure to please a crowd- whether you’re watching football with your friends or just coming back inside from raking up the fallen leaves in your yard for the millionth time. Regardless of the occasion- there’s always a good excuse to enjoy a cheese and bacon stuffed potato!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup chopped cooked bacon, crumbled
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Use a sharp knife to cut the entire top of the potato into thin crosswise slices (about ⅛-inch thick), stopping about three-quarters of the way down the potato so the base stays in tact and the pieces remain attached to the base.
3. Rub 1 tablespoon butter evenly across the top of each potato. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, and then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Roast the potatoes until they are golden and easily pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle each baked potato with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and 2 tablespoons bacon. Push some of the toppings between the potato slices. Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook until the bacon is crisp and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes more.
6. Let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Of course, you can load these up with chives or sour cream to your heart’s content- but I just love how every slice of the finished, “fanned out” potato was loaded with flavor. These are such a great idea for an appetizer- or for a side dish depending on what or who you’re making them for!