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Twice Baked Potatoes with Pancetta
What I Like About Twice Baked Potatoes
The obvious thing is they are so delicious. You can actually put anything you want in them to make them suit your taste pallet. In this recipe I put butter, sour cream, onions and crispy bits of pancetta and melted cheese on top. You can add vegetables if you like to make them healthier.
I made these for my sister and her husband, whom I was making dinner for because they were both have shoulder problems and can't do whole lot right now. They absolutely loved them.
I also like twice baked potatoes because you can make them ahead of time, like the day before or early in the day and at the last minute put on the topping and pop them back in the oven to heat and melt the cheese. They are also easy to transport.
Also, If you are making mashed potatoes or roast potatoes or some other way, which are all very good, you sort of have to guess as to how much potatoes to make. Some people eat more then others. With twice baked potatoes you simply make as many potatoes as people you are serving.
I try to make my recipes for people who are just learning how to cook easy so they can make something as fancy as twice baked potatoes too. Like I said in my profile, if you can cook, you can read.
Hope you get a chance to try this recipe.
Photo of Twice Baked Potatoes with Pancetta
Other Ingredients You Can Add
I always say you can make a recipe to be your own. If you like, you can add other ingredients to the potatoes. Some are:
- Chopped broccoli
- Chopped spinach
- Chopped mushrooms
- Chopped crispy bacon
- Chopped crispy ham
- Plain yogurt if you don't like sour cream
You can use your imagination for other ideas.
What is pancetta and what is the difference between pancetta and bacon?
Pancetta is called Italian bacon. Pancetta and bacon are both made from pork belly and both cured for a certain length of time. both are considered "raw" and need to be cooked before eating.
What is the difference? The curing process.
Pancetta is simply cured. This can be done simply with salt, but spices and other aromatics are often added in infuse the pancetta with certain flavors. Pancetta is sometimes sold sliced paper thin or cubed or you can ask for it to be cut in thick chunks if you wish. Pancetta can be cut in little cubes (like I did in the twice baked potato recipe) and cooked in a frying pan until it's crispy like bacon.
Bacon is also cured like pancetta, but it takes things one step further: the meat is smoked after it's been cured. This is usually a cold-smoking process, meaning that the bacon isn't actually heated or cooked during smoking and remains raw.
Pancetta is cured and unsmoked and bacon is cured and smoked, but both need to be cooked before eating.
Most of this information was taken from a website called "The Kitchn" (spelled just like that)
- 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 small to medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup pancetta, chopped and cooked to a crisp
- 1/2 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded
- to taste salt and pepper
- to taste dried parsley, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place potatoes directly on the rack in the cent of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the potatoes and pierce them with a fork several times and place them back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes again from the oven and turn the heat down to 375. Hold the potatoes with an oven-mit or paper towel as to not burn you hand and cut off the top of the potatoes.
- Carefully coop out most of the potato into a bowl being careful to leave enough potato around the skin to keep the shape. Mash the potato lightly with a fork.
- Add the butter, sour cream, onion, pancetta and salt and pepper and mix it together; don't make it too smooth.
- Transfer the filling back into the potato skins, mounting it a little. (At this point you can wrap them in aluminum foil and save them in the refrigerator to finish them later). If not, add the cheese on top of the filling and bake in the 375 degree oven for another 20 minutes or until nice and hot and the cheese is melted and golden brown on top.