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What makes your twice baked potatoes extra fabulous?

I was making twice baked potatoes to go along with my roast chicken for dinner and I started wondering what your favourite additions are. I do them differently every time depending on what's in the house. Sometimes I add bacon or ham or bits of exotic cheese or an egg to make them puff up. Usually mine have to include s and p, cheese, chives, butter, milk, green onions.
What do you do?

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  1. I use hot milk, butter, crunchy brown bacon, sour cream, s&p and chopped scallions. The kicker is beating an egg into the mixture, and having your oven quite hot for the final baking. The potatoes will souffle up on you. Topping with very sharp shredded cheddar or parm. is a great touch too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      "...soufflé up on you..." how fun! But about how many eggs to how much potato?

      1. re: blue room

        4:1 works really well for this. Enjoy. Such a nice texture. Wait: the way your question is phrased I better answer 1:4. : )

      2. re: mamachef

        I'm glad I'm not the only person who adds eggs, particularly since it's you mamachef. I have failed to convince my friends that this is the way to go, but I think I need to actually feed it to them instead of just talking it up. Seeing is believing!

      3. Chopped sauteed onions, mushrooms, jalapeños, jack and cheddar cheese, sour cream, the aforementioned egg; or chopped blanched broccoli and sauteed mushrooms, plenty of butter, cheddar and sour cream.

        1. The aforementioned butter, sour cream, scallions, bacon and a little milk. What makes mine fabulous is a bit of green chile (Sandia, not jalapeno).

          1. Crispy pancetta, fried shallots or caramelized onions and fried mustard seeds. Lots of good cheddar and chives. Some melted butter and sour cream. Sometimes we do this with sweet potatoes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chefathome

              yum! I'll have to try this. It's a very sophisticated version of the pub food I love.

              1. re: dianne0712

                Man, I love pub food - especially traditional British.

            2. I like to add chopped parsely, dill, and the zest and juice of a lemon. Salt, pepper, and margarine.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cheesecake17

                lemon! I love lemon! Another one to try. I wonder if it will get by the kiddies....

                1. re: dianne0712

                  If its any help, my 1yo likes the filing

              2. Crispy bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, scallions, milk, salt, and pepper. They are delish!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Njchicaa

                  sour cream is so good in the mix and on top. I sometimes have a hard time making the choice.

                2. Great thread. The egg idea is fascinating, as is lemon juice.

                  I often add a little bit of cream cheese along with many of the ingredients that have already been mentioned.

                  1. Seeing this thread inspired me to make twice-baked potatoes tonight, which I hadn't done in years. Tonight's combination: bacon, spinach, shallots, and smoked gouda with sour cream to bind it together. We also coated the potatoes with olive oil and Penzey's seasoning salt while baking them. Mmm....

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: dustchick

                      mmmmm....send some my way! I may have to go buy some smoked gouda tomorrow.
                      I've never heard of Penzey's. American perhaps?

                      1. re: dianne0712

                        Penzey's is the name of a chain of spice shops. Penzey's Spices.

                    2. butter, half and half or milk, cream cheese, caramelized onion pureed (often with roasted garlic; puree makes for full dispersement through potato), salt and freshly ground pepper. sometimes the egg, sometimes a little havarti (or gruyere).

                      1. For those who use eggs, do you whip them frothy first and sort of fold them in (which sounds kinda tough) or do you just break the yolk and mix it all together?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: travelerjjm

                          travelerjjm, I give them a decent whisk and fold them in, but I don't have a delicate hand for that and it probably actually is just stirring - but it's never failed me.

                          1. re: mamachef

                            This could be an extra nice puffy top for a cottage pie, it just occured to me.

                            1. re: blue room

                              I am so so so going to try that egg idea for cottage pie. My mind never would have gone in that direction. Two thumbs up. I am unlikely to mess with my cottage pie as my boyfriend is from England and knows the good stuff and he likes mine. This sounds like a good idea to try though

                              1. re: suzigirl

                                I just stir them in really thoroughly. There's a classic French potato dish that does this which is where I got the idea.

                        2. Wow! My family is the opposite . We go for simple. We make our standard mashed potatoes with butter and milk, s/p and before we bake we used use this dried cheese powder that Jraft used to make. I just searched and I wonder if this is what the macaroni and cheese flavored topping that they sell is what we used to buy. Now I would top with a sprinkling of grates cheese.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: melpy

                            OP wasn't about standard mash, girlfriend. : )

                            1. re: mamachef

                              I realize that. That is what we fill our twice baked potatoes with. Scoop out the inside of the baked potato, make standard mashed potato. Fille skins with mashed potato. Top with sprinkle or grated cheese and rebake. Not sure where I wasn't clear.

                              1. re: melpy

                                Gotcha. Just didn't see anything about skins and thought you misunderstood. My bad. I didn't read carefully.

                          2. I've never added the egg...will definitely try that!! Consistently mine have cheese, sour cream and butter.....when I have time I'll carmelize onions and add them as well as some bacon.

                            1. Last night I made a really good carmelized onion quiche with goat cheese. So tonight's twice baked potatoes will include the leftovers goat cheese and possibly left over onions and bacon. What ever the bf wants. I am going to try adding an egg.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: viperlush

                                sounds delish! Hubby and son aren't goat cheese fans though, so it'll have to be my special treat!

                                1. re: dianne0712

                                  They were great. I ended up using the garlic herb goat cheese wiith balsamic carmelized onions and crumbled bacon. Alittle rich but made great leftovers for breakfast. If they do not like goat cheese you can always use a different type.

                                  1. re: viperlush

                                    I adore goat cheese! They don't get any, hehe. I'll make them the usual kind and keep mine for lunch!

                              2. While I enjoy all sorts of things in my twice-bakeds, sometimes the purist version is just the best. A nicely-baked potato, meaning slow and low, NO FOIL EVER, until nicely soft. Then rice the innards , mix in kosher salt and whipping cream. Taste for saltiness. Reload the potatoes, make some spikes on top to get brown, stick a slice of unsalted butter down inside, and bake at 400 or so until the tops are the desired brownness.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: sandylc

                                  hmmm... Whipping cream. I've added that to the mash before, but usually I add so many other things I'm never sure it's worth it. I'll have to try your purist version.

                                  1. re: dianne0712

                                    Sour cream or cream cheese also make their way into things occasionally.....!

                                2. Shrimp :) that is a special occasion twice baked addition.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: PenskeFan

                                    I can see why a lot of people would love that but I just can't eat seafood. I wish I could; everyone seems to serve it for special occasions. I can't eat raw tomatoes either and that always seems to show up too.

                                    1. re: PenskeFan

                                      This is my favorite rendition, as well. I add shrimp sauteed in butter with garlic and Old Bay and add it to the milk, cheese, chives, etc. So good.

                                    2. I haven't done it but I see no reason you couldn't go the Irish Colcannon route and use bacon or ham and sauteed cabbage and of course you can use the egg and top with cheese if you like.

                                      1. Did I miss someone mentioning smoked paprika in their twice baked taters? We mix some form of dairy (usual buttermilk or whipped cream cheese) but we love sprinkling the smoked paprika on top with a bit of finely ground bread crumb.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          Smoked paprika is my new love. Paprika has flavor... who knew?

                                          I now have a collection of paprikas. Hungarian hot and sweet. Spanish hot and sweet. And some generic smoked paprika, I found in the Whole Foods Market....and no.. I hardly ever go in there.

                                          My grand daughter now likes deviled eggs. She wanted the one with more of the red stuff.... "It's bacony. gampa.

                                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                                            I *love* smoked paprika! My wife loves it, too. I started her out with a bit on pan-roasted new potatoes. Now we use it in lots of dishes. I got mine online.

                                            1. re: Hank Hanover

                                              Yeah, I can get behind that kind of spice love, Hank. We're big fans of the stuff.

                                          2. dianne0712,
                                            I know you mentioned you can't eat seafood, so this is for others who can. The Original Silverpalate cookbook had a twiced baked with a sherry cream sauce with lobster. I will try and find the recipe. Boy was that ever good. I would use shrimp to cut the cost, but man, THAT SAUCE!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                              sounds like a fabulous sauce - I'd use it with chicken. I find that works best in a seafood dish I want to try but don't want the seafood. I wish I liked it; it's always so awkward.

                                            2. I'm a purist. Red potatoes coated with oil and salt, roasted until tender inside. Scoop out the innards, and for each potato add 3 Tbsp. sour cream, 2 oz. shredded sharp cheddar, a 1/2 Tbsp. of fresh chopped chives, and salt/pepper to taste. Mix it all up coarsely, fill potato jackets, and top with more shredded cheese and a sprinkle of paprika. 10 minutes at 350.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: dekethedog

                                                So the skins don't contain the potato that was removed? Do you mix the type of poato together? Slightly confused.

                                              2. I second the sautéed onion and the egg- and mixing salt into the sour cream or crème fraîche really makes a difference!