Monday, March 5, 2012

Loadin' Up

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

Russet Potato
Kosher Salt
Canola Oil
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Steamed Broccoli
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. 

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