How on earth does one improve upon something as yummy as twice baked potatoes? Turn that same dish into a hearty cheesy casserole — minus that potato skins! This Emeril Lagasse dish is pure heart-warming goodness that just cries out Thanksgiving dinner or a big family barbecue. It is rich, creamy, packed with cheese, and topped with bacon… how can that possibly taste anything less than perfect?
I have made this recipe a few times now, always when feeding a crowd (because it is so filling and so NOT Weight Watchers-friendly). My kids go nuts over these potatoes — always a second helping, and sometimes a third. We have even enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast. Because this dish is quite high in calories and fat, I reserve it for special splurge occasions. I haven’t even bothered attempting to skinny this down because I can’t imagine the conversion would taste anywhere near as good. So, if you’re counting calories, just chock this up to a loss and get in some extra excercise instead.
- 10 large russet baking potatoes (about 7 pounds total)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
- ½ pound sharp white Cheddar, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¾ pound mild Cheddar, grated (3 cups)
- ½ cup finely chopped green onions
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Scrub the potatoes well and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels and prick the potatoes in several places with a fork. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.
- When the potatoes have cooled, cut each potato in half and, using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop the flesh out of the skins, leaving as little flesh as possible. Place the potato flesh in a large bowl and add 1 stick of the butter, the sour cream, heavy cream, salt, and pepper and mash until chunky-smooth. Add the bacon, cubed white Cheddar, half of the grated Cheddar, the green onions, and eggs and mix thoroughly.
- Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole with the remaining tablespoon of butter and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Place the seasoned potato mixture in the prepared casserole and top with the remaining grated Cheddar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and heated through and the cheese on top is melted and lightly golden. Serve hot.