ORIGINALLY POSTED DECEMBER 28, 2011
Yesterday I wrote the first part of my post about our Christmas dinner, which is a great meal for any occasion: roasted pork chops, homemade applesauce, Twice-Baked Potatoes, sauteed green beans and butternut squash.
At the end of the post I promised that I’d be sharing the make-ahead process that Don uses for the Twice-Baked Potatoes, which also provides you with a ready-made appetizer: potato skins.
To begin, you need baking potatoes. I get mine at Aldi’s. They sell the perfect sized and shaped potatoes in a big bag so that you don’t have to hand pick every single one. I buy two bags of them.
Early in the day on Christmas Eve, they go in the oven to be baked just as you would for any baked potato. Don bakes them at 400 degrees for one hour.
After that, they cool on top of the stove for two hours.
At that time, Don cuts the top skin off of the potatoes, putting the tops in a serving dish to be used as Potato Skins for the next day and leaving the bottoms on the tray to be used for the Twice Baked Potatoes.
The next step is to scoop all of the potato flesh out of the skins, and into a mixing bowl.
Next, you make the filling. We use butter, milk or half and half, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese, mashing the mixture just as you would for mashed potatoes.
Then, you fill the potato skins back up again. They should be slightly more full than they were before because of the added cheese, milk and butter.
Wrap the entire tray with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
On Christmas morning, when it’s time to cook, take your potatoes out. Let them sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to bring the temperature up a bit. Bake them in the oven 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of each one, and broil for a few minutes until brown and crispy. Eat and Enjoy!
Additionally, to make your potato skins appetizer, you use the tops of the skins from the day before, sprinkling them with any toppings you’d like. We use cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Broil them for a few minutes in the oven before serving. We serve with a side of sour cream.