When it gets really cold outside, I tend to crave a lot of protein, a lot of vitamin c, and a lot of warm, hearty foods. I especially crave savory breakfast foods, like omelettes with greens and pan-fried whole wheat toast. As I’ve continued to learn new things about food and different methods of cooking, I’ve discovered a lot of really amazing recipes that have improved my life tenfold.
On Thursday, after a day of extreme productivity, I had no inclination to make “proper” dinner food. I just wanted a nice, filling breakfast. So thanks to the ladies at A Beautiful Mess, I did exactly that. I’ve been eyeing their recipe for Breakfast Twice-Baked Potatoes for a while now, and I finally decided to try it that night. I made some slight alterations to their recipe (to better suit my taste buds) and the end result was fantastic.
You can read the original recipe at A Beautiful Mess, but I’m going to talk about what I did a little differently. I used a large russett potato, because I like them best for baking. After washing the potato, I poked tiny holes in it using a knife (rather than a fork — I’ve found that it allows the potato to breathe easier) and coated the whole thing in a thin layer of peanut oil. (You can also use canola oil. Try to avoid olive, because it burns at a fairly low temperature.) I baked the potato for about an hour at 400 degrees in a convectional toaster oven, flipping at the 30 minute mark so the skin would be crispy all around.
When the potato was finished baking, I took it out of the oven and sliced it in half. Then I let it cool for about five minutes, so that I could hold it while I scraped out the insides. This part was familiar to me — I love making potato skins and twice-baked potatoes, so leaving the skin in tact while scraping is a skill I’ve developed over time. If it’s your first time, be careful! It’s easy to rip a potato apart and have to start all over.
I mixed the potato flesh with 3 tbsps of milk, about 1/8 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, a pinch of salt and a lot of pepper. Then I put the mixture back into the potato halves and used my spoon to make craters for the eggs to sit. Because my potato was large, I had plenty of room to use full eggs, though a bit of the whites did drip over the sides of my potato halves. (It made them look messy, but it didn’t affect the taste negatively at all.) I sprinkled both halves with paprika and put them back in the oven, still at 400 degrees.
According to the recipe on A Beautiful Mess, I only needed to put the potato halves back in the oven for a few minutes if I wanted runny yolks. I wanted yolks more like one would get with hardboiled eggs, so I left them in for about 15 minutes. It made the potato halves even crispier, melted the cheese so that it was nice and gooey, and made the eggs a nice solid texture which was really enjoyable. I served the potatoes with sour cream and Sriracha (my favorite). They were delicious.
Unfortunately, because I’d gone so long without eating that day, my eyes had definitely gotten bigger than my stomach. Though I devoured the entire potato (as in, both halves), I almost immediately felt too full to move, let alone finish my to-do list for the evening. I think, next time I make this dish for just me, I’ll refrigerate one of the potato halves pre-egg and then reheat it the next morning for actual breakfast.
All in all, this experiment was a successful one. As always, have a glass of milk ready to smother the spice of Sriracha, if you choose to serve your twice-baked breakfast potatoes with it (and why wouldn’t you?). And enjoy!