When I was a kid, I went through about a 3 year period where I would not touch mashed potatoes. They morally offended me. You see, while I was in kindergarten I very bravely went through the lunch line all on my own one day. First on the plate was some sad, limp slices of turkey. Next some buttered corn. I was already wishing my mom had packed my lunch. But then, near the end of the line, my luck turned around. They were serving ice cream! The lunch lady stuck an ice cream scoop into a big vat of creamy vanilla ice cream and topped it with some pale liquid, presumably caramel sauce. I strode over to my lunch table with my head held high. I had conquered the lunch line and my reward was ice cream for lunch! Or so I thought. I picked up my spoon and shoveled a huge bite of “ice cream” into my mouth. Big mistake. Where I was expecting cold, sweet, creamy ice cream I instead tasted warm, gummy, wallpaper paste mashed potatoes. My spirits were crushed, at least until nap time. It took a long, long time for me to forgive mashed potatoes.
These “twice baked” mashed potatoes are not the sad, gluey mashed potatoes of my kindergarten lunch line. These are rich, buttery and chock full of all of the goodies that make twice baked potatoes so delicious. But better, because you don’t have to spend time scooping out each individual potato, trying not to break the skins. Butter, cream cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese, half and half, chives… you name it, it’s in these potatoes. These are an ideal side to a perfectly cooked steak or roast. Frankly, they’re so tasty I wouldn’t mind if someone served me these instead of ice cream.
“Twice Baked” Mashed Potatoes
Don’t let the name fool you. These aren’t baked at all. Just chock full of all the goodies that make twice baked potatoes so yummy.
- 3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, skins on, cut into large chunks
- 8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and finely chopped
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 oz (1/2 stick) cream cheese
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup half and half, plus more as needed
- 3 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
Place potatoes in large pot filled with cold water. Potatoes should be covered completely by at least 2 inches of water. Bring potatoes and water to a boil, then add 1 tsp salt. Boil potatoes until they are easily pierced by a knife, about 15 minutes. Once potatoes are cooked, drain in colander and return to pan. Using potato masher, mash the potatoes until mostly smooth. Add 4 Tbsp butter, cream cheese, half and half and cheddar cheese to potatoes. Add additional half and half if necessary to moisten potatoes. Season with seasoned salt, remaining 1 tsp of kosher salt and black pepper. Stir in bacon and green onions, reserving some to garnish. Top with remaining 1 Tbsp butter and garnish with reserved bacon and green onions.