I've got a yummy recipe for you today... one you'll be putting into your meal rotation real soon. It is simple, fast and delicious. Paired with a Smithfield Marinated Pork Loin Roast, you'll be the belle of the ball in your house when you make up a batch of these Quick "Twice-Baked" Potatoes.
I am not much of a meal planner. I usually have an idea of what we will have for dinner on a particular night, but I am not the kind of woman who has the meal started by lunchtime. More often than not, I'm running around like a mad matriarch trying to get dinner on the table sometime before 7pm. Any shortcuts I can find, I will take.
We actually enjoyed this meal on Halloween night just before the trick-or-treaters descended upon us. I knew it would be a minimal fuss kind of meal, which was exactly what we needed on this hectic night.
I started this dinner with the centerpiece, a Smithfield Garlic & Herb Marinated Pork Loin Filet I picked up at Wal-Mart with a $.75 off coupon (available while supplies last). This slow marinated, perfectly seasoned pork loin was a breeze to just pop in the oven... no messy prep work involved. The flavor of this was absolutely delicious, by the way. I'm sure I'll be picking up more of these. It was a big hit with the family and I loved how easy it made my dinner preparations.
While the pork loin filet was baking at 400 degrees, I started working on the Quick Twice-Baked Potatoes. We love all potato dishes, but twice-baked is one of our favorites. Unfortunately, I (as stated before) don't think ahead far enough to make them the traditional way. I had to come up with a short cut. Today, I'm sharing it with you... you're welcome ;-)
Here's what you need: 4 Russet potatoes, butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, real bacon pieces, green onions.
Start by scrubbing the potatoes and piercing them with a fork a few times. Add a little bit of water to the microwave safe pan. Cover and cook on high in the microwave for about 12 minutes. By the way, this is how I make my regular baked potatoes all the time!
Remove from microwave and allow to rest for a few minutes. Cut in half lengthwise.
Into a bowl, scoop out inside of potato leaving a bit of potato as a shell.
Do this for all the potato halves.
Mash the cooked potato and add in the butter, sour cream, cheese (reserving some for the top), bacon pieces, chopped green onion, salt and pepper to taste.
Scoop the potato mixture back into the potato shells. Top with remaining cheese.
Place in 400 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden brown. I did this the last 10 minutes of the baking time of the pork loin filet. Remove the pork loin, let it rest for about 10 minutes so the juices will redistribute. Slice it up and serve!
Quick "Twice-Baked" Potatoes
4 Russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided
chopped green onions
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take scrubbed potatoes and pierce with a fork several times. Place in microwave-safe pan and add in a little bit of water. Cover and cook on high in microwave for about 12 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Cut in half and scoop out the potato into a bowl, making sure to leave a bit of the potato in the "shell" of the skin. Set the potato shells on a baking pan. Mash up the potato in the bowl and add in butter, sour cream, about 1 cup of shredded cheese, bacon pieces and green onions. Stir to combine and scoop the potato mixture into the potato shells. Top with remaining cheese and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.
The meal is almost complete. All that is needed is the steamed broccoli, which I also cook in the microwave for the sake of time.
While we loved the whole meal, the biggest time-saver-flavor-powerhouse was the Smithfield Marinated Pork Loin Filet. They come in a variety of flavors and are available at select Walmarts. The Smithfield website and Facebook page are full of additional recipe ideas to help you get dinner on the table with minimal prep time.
So, tell me... are you a fan of shortcuts in the kitchen? What's your favorite time-saver?