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Election Night Loaded Potato Casserole

Tuesday, November 06, 2018


If your politically diverse friends and family are anything like ours, some are going to need comfort food when we gather to watch election returns tonight.


Ariel Knutson, the News and Culture Editor for Kitchen, said that this baked potato casserole made her want to curl up in between two of these potatoes and take a long nap.


This ultimate baked potato—in a potluck casserole for all to share, is inspired by crispy bacon-topped stuffed baked potato skins, bringing both pleasures together to create one dreamy, creamy, soothing, crowd-pleasing dish.


Chill lots of beer, set out your favorite hot sauces, and brace yourselves for an interesting evening.


Loaded Baked Potato Casserole


Serves 6 to 8

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For the casserole:

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6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

6 large russet potatoes, baked (2 to 2 1/4 pounds)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, divided

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup whole or 2% milk

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

cooking spray

1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli, steamed and drained

1 large bunch fresh chives, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, divided


For the topping:

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10 to 12 slices smoked bacon, cooked and cut or broken into 1/4-inch pieces


1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes


In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter; set aside.


Directions


Cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out as much of the potato flesh into a large bowl as you can while keeping the skins intact as much as possible; set the skins aside.


Process the potato flesh through a ricer or food mill, or if you like rustic-style potatoes, roughly mash them. Don't use a food processor or mixer or you will get gummy potatoes. 


Place the potatoes back in the bowl, add about half the melted butter (save the other half for drizzling at the end), 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Mix gently, just to incorporate. Do not overwork, or your potatoes will become gluey! Set aside.


In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high until it melts and begins to foam. Add the flour, whisk to combine, and cook until the mixture becomes a blond color, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, whisk until smooth, and cook until heated through. Add the sour cream, whisk to combine, and cook until heated through. Add the Parmesan cheese and 1 1/4 cups of the cheddar cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat.


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.


Transfer half of the potato flesh into the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Arrange the broccoli evenly on top. Pour or scoop the cheese sauce over the broccoli to coat. Cover with the remaining potato flesh in an even layer. Top with the reserved potato skins, skin-side up.


Drizzle the potato skins with the remaining reserved melted butter, then spray them with cooking spray just to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, half of the chives, and remaining 1 1/4 cups cheddar. Bake until the cheese melts and the casserole is completely warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.


Top with the crumbled bacon, red pepper flakes, and remaining chives. Serve immediately.


Breathe deeply, relax, and enjoy the evening if you can.


Ellen Troyer, with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff

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Nutrient information: The insulin produced naturally after potatoes are consumed, allows tryptophan to enter the brain, which becomes 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP)  that converts to stress-controlling serotonin. Potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium. 

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