January can be a trying month. The weather inevitably hits the seriously wintery, germs abound and diets and detoxes reign. So for those days when the blues hit, there’s loaded potato skins. Plenty of cheese, crispy bacon and comforting mashed potato means a happy belly and a happy you.
2kg medium White Potatoes, scrubbed
2-3 cups Sharp Cheddar, grated
200g Bacon Lardons, fried off until crispy (Optional)
Spring Onions or Chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F (180°C).
1. Fill a large pot with water, add potatoes, salt well and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes for 20-25 minutes until easily pierced with a knife.
2. Drain potatoes and leave to cool slightly. Then slice the potatoes in half and gently scoop out the middles into a large bowl, being careful to leave enough in the skins so they still hold their shape. If they tear or break slightly, it’s ok; they’ll hold together when they’re filled again.
3. Mash the potato and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the grated cheese. Season with salt and white pepper to taste and stir in some of the spring onions or chives if you want.
4. Fill the potato skins with the mashed potato mixture and pack each down with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle each half potato liberally with the remaining cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes until golden and crispy.
5. Sprinkle with spring onions or chives and serve with sour cream.