Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cheesy Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

A cheesy potato casserole, made with potatoes that are baked twice, and including all my favorite loaded baked potato ingredients - bacon, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion - all in a simple casserole form.

Cheesy Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

Y'all pretty much know by now how I feel about potatoes. Being married to a meat and potatoes man, they are certainly a pantry staple in this house, making a regular appearance on the supper plate in some form. Truth is, being a lover of carbs, I love them too, and pretty much any way you can make them - including casseroles like this, that center around potatoes.

Recipes very similar to this casserole can be found everywhere, but mostly they come in a mashed potato form. When I set out to make my version though, I had some specifics in mind that I wanted it to have.

I was trying to recreate something akin to the taste of the cheesy potato casserole I had before at a local Stonewall's BBQ restaurant. Their casserole had more texture to it, and I wanted mine to be similar to that. Although their version is likely made with smoked potatoes, I also wanted my home version to have the unique flavor that only comes from a potato being twice-baked. And last, I wanted it to have the flavor elements of my favorite version of a loaded baked potato - butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon and green onion - all the goodies we love to indulge in every once in awhile. It took me a few times to get it right where I wanted it, but in the end, it was sure worth the extra cooking remakes and calories.

To make it even easier, plan this recipe to follow that steak and baked potato supper, baking extra potatoes just for this casserole. You could also simply bake some potatoes ahead and let them chill in the fridge until you need them.

This casserole is ideal as a side dish for any potluck, church supper, or even for your upcoming Labor Day cookout, though you'll probably want to double it, since I've written it here for more of a supper size serving of 4 to 6. Here's how to make it.

I used some medium sized, scrubbed, but unpeeled, red skinned potatoes. Drizzle them with a little oil, sprinkle with some salt and bake at 400 degrees F until tender, about 45 minutes or so. Let them cool, cut in half lengthwise, and slice.


While the potatoes are baking, cook 4 slices of bacon to crisp and once cooled, chop it up, setting aside about half to use as a garnish. When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter an 8 x 8 inch casserole. Add 1 cup of Cheddar cheese to the potatoes, plus half of the bacon and 2 green onions, sliced, but saving a big pinch of the green onion for garnish. Toss everything together.


For the sauce, whisk together 1 small can of evaporated milk, a cup of sour cream and 1/2 stick of butter that has been melted and cooled. Add parsley, garlic salt and pepper and whisk that in.


Pour mixture over the potatoes and gently toss to coat.


Use a potato masher to break down some of the slices to desired texture. Some people completely mash the potatoes, but I left them mostly whole slices.


Turn out into the prepared baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until heated through.


Remove, top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, return to the oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted about 5 minutes.


Garnish top with remaining bacon and green onion.


Dig in!



Recipe: Cheesy Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of red skinned potatoes, about 10 medium, baked
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 1 (5 ounce) can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 green onions, sliced, reserve a teaspoon for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub potatoes, puncture each with a knife to vent, toss with olive oil and salt and place on a pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, cook the bacon to crisp; set aside, chop once cooled, reserving half for garnish; set aside. Set potatoes aside until cool enough to handle, then slice in half lengthwise, then into half rounds about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Place into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese and half of the bacon. Set aside a big pinch of the green onion for garnish and add the rest to the potatoes; toss.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8 inch baking dish; set aside. Blend together the evaporated milk, sour cream and melted butter. Add parsley, garlic salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the potatoes and gently toss. Use a potato masher to break down the chunks to desired texture. Turn out into the prepared baking dish, cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until heated through. Remove, top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, return to the oven, uncovered, until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Garnish top with remaining bacon and green onion. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: Double for a cookout, potluck or church supper. Leftover baked potatoes are perfect for this, so if you're already baking some, bake extra, or bake the potatoes ahead to save time. Also good for smoked potatoes.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on August 22, 2012
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