Elevate the regular old baked potato with this impressive side dish for your guests. Stuffed with cheddar and bacon, these potatoes are not only delicious but a showstopper as well fanning out delightfully as they bake.
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) PC New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 PC Strawberry Blonde Potatoes
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
- Half 250g package PC Aged 2 Years Canadian White Cheddar Cheese
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) PC Black Label Panko – Japanese-Style Bread Crumbs
- 6 slices PC Naturally Smoked Bacon, cooked and each slice cut crosswise into 10 pieces
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Stir together butter and oil. Brush bottom of 14 x 11-inch (3 L) roasting pan with some of the butter-oil mixture. Slice thin lengthwise strip off the bottom of one potato; place flat side down on cutting board. Place two wooden spoons on opposite long sides of potato. Cut potato crosswise into 20 thin slices until almost all the way through, stopping when knife hits spoon handles. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
- Arrange potatoes flat side down in roasting pan; brush with butter-oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Scatter rosemary and thyme sprigs around potatoes.
- Bake in centre of oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through but still firm, basting with butter halfway through. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes.
- Grate 2 tbsp (25 mL) cheese finely; combine with panko. Slice remaining cheese crosswise into 20 slices; cut each slice crosswise into 3 pieces for a total of 60 pieces.
- Insert bacon alternately with cheese in potato slices. Brush all over with butter from pan. Sprinkle panko mixture over top. Bake in centre oven for 12 to 16 minutes or until cheese is melted and panko mixture is golden.
- Discard herb sprigs; garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
“The trick here is in using wooden spoons (or chopsticks) as guides while cutting almost-but-not-all-the-way-through,” says Chef Tom Filippou, executive chef at President's Choice. “Another great tip is to cook the bacon on a baking sheet to keep it flat, making it easier to insert into sliced potatoes.”
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