February 23, 2016

Twice Baked Potatoes

The potatoes think the worst is behind them. They think wrong
There comes a time in every man's life when he needs to cook potatoes. At one point this caused some trouble for the Irish, but by and large, it's worked out for humanity. Because potatoes have a pretty high excellence potential. But then again, they also have the possibility of bland crappiness if you aren't careful. In which case your only option is turning your bland crappy potatoes into alcohol, which you then drink to try and forget the unmistakable taste of underwhelming food and shame. Overcompensating for your spud shame can lead to bad decision making, stockpiling weapons, and the consumption of beets. The most egregious example of this in modern times was the rise, and eventual decline, of the Soviet Union. In the heart of the cold war, a secret government operation launched Julia Child deep into the heart of the USSR, where she made some awesome potatoes. Fewer potatoes were available for vodka, so people slightly sobered up, causing most of them to put down their beets. As a rule, a sober nation doesn't consume beets en masse. And a nation that isn't eating beets as a staple is a nation far less likely to go to war. Eventually this program led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, because everybody got too full of delicious potatoes to really care about communism. So long story short, potatoes are high risk, high reward.


4 Largish Russet Potatoes 
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Chopped Chives
4 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Milk 
6 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
An unspecified amount of Salt
An unspecified amount of Oil (Any generic oil that can handle a relatively high temperature will do fine. Like vegetable oil. Or another kind of oil. Or vegetable oil.)

The first thing you're gonna need to do is wash your potatoes. Because potatoes grow in the ground, and have you seen the ground lately? That place is gross. So try and wash some of the caked-on nastiness off of them. You don't need to go crazy with it, just kind of shimmy shake them under some water until the dirt remembers that it has better places to be. Dry off your potatoes so that they feel safe and secure, and then immediately betray the trust you've built by stabbing them repeatedly with a fork. The holes in your potatoes will let steam escape as they cook, which will prevent them from exploding. So really you're doing them a favor by stabbing them. Make
This is your basic inspiration for how you're interacting
with these potatoes
sure to tell yourself that while you struggle to sleep at night. Slather some Oil on your stabbed-for-their-own-good Potatoes, and then pat some Salt around them so that it sticks to the skin. So, just to keep track, we water-boarded the Potatoes, stabbed them, and then salted their wounds. And now we're gonna bake them in a 400 degree oven for 60 minutes. So for the subset of vegetarians who specifically chose vegetarianism because you hate vegetables and want to murder them, you're welcome.

Now it's time to talk about the next step. Because we're not regular baking these Potatoes, like a bunch of beet-eating communists. We're scooping their guts out, mixing them with delicious extras, stuffing the whole nonsense back inside themselves, and baking them again. Like winners. So let's get started. Once your Potatoes are done with their hour of baking, take them out of the oven and slice them in half. Scoop their potato-insides out of the skin, being careful to leave the skin intact. If you lack the will of the warrior, let them cool 10 minutes before attempting this. Otherwise, man up, grab them in your man hands, and deal with it. The delicious aroma of cooking meat will be your reward for being so manly. Take your Potato guts and mix in your Milk, Butter, Black Pepper, and your Sour Cream. Also mix in half of your Chives, half of your Cheddar Cheese,
Some people might say this is too much cheese. Some
people are fools.
and one large person's pinch of Salt. Stuff that whole mess back inside of the hollowed-out corpses of your Potatoes, top them with the rest of your cheese, and then bake them for another 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven, top them off with the rest of your Chives, and enjoy the delicious taste that can only be achieved by slowly torturing something and then stuffing bits of it where they don't belong. It's pretty much Potato Foie Gras. Totally worth it.

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