After a long, busy day in the hot sun on Saturday, I wanted to take it easy in the kitchen but still relax and enjoy a scrumptious meal. And a Loaded Baked Potato is just what I needed. A fluffy and creamy wonder stuffed with lots of flavor and color. I personally like my potatoes simple, but they are such a great base for any toppings you can creatively conjure up! But this time around, I loaded it with butter, ground black pepper, broccoli, cheese and crispy bacon - reminiscent of broccoli potato soup. Ya know, I sometimes think if I was a poor Irish woman living in the early 1800s, I would have been completely satisfied living off of potatoes. Okay, maybe not. But I definitely know I cannot live without them.
What you'll need: Per potato
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Ground Black Pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash, scrub and pat dry the potato. KEY: To ensure a crispy skin, brush a thin layer the canola oil all over the skin of the potato and drizzle on kosher salt for extra flavor. To avoid a potato explosion, with a fork poke a few holes throughout the potato. Uncovered and on a foil lined baking sheet, place in the oven for about 45 mins or until tender. While they are cooking, place a few strips of bacon on a foil lined baking sheet and put into the oven. I love mine extra crispy so I let them bake for about 30 mins. Let them cool and then crumble them for a bacon bits topping. Once the potatoes are done, cut open and start loading! I like to start with the butter and pepper, then the cheese, steamed broccoli, more cheese and bacon. So simple, yet so satisfying. I eat the whole thing every time.