When I was young, my mom used to make twice-baked potatoes as a treat for my dad and me. She’d whip some cream, butter, salt and pepper into the potatoes, fold them gently back into the skins, and top them with cheddar cheese before sliding them back into the oven for a quick melt.
Problem was, when they were on the menu, I didn’t want to eat anything else she’d prepared. There was always a little drama at the dinner table.
Many years later, they’re still a favorite of mine. To make them, you’ve got to use the best potatoes you can find, and for me that means Idaho® potatoes. You may wonder if it really makes that big a difference, whether the potatoes were grown in Idaho or somewhere else. The answer is a resounding yes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho Potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. Look for their GROWN IN IDAHO® or IDAHO® POTATOES, both of which are federally registered certification marks by the Idaho Potato Commission.
If you’re looking for more great recipes with the best potatoes money can buy, go visit their Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram pages. You’ll be surprised at all the wonderful ways to cook with them.
In honor of upcoming Halloween, a group of us here at #SundaySupper took Idaho potatoes to create some spooky potato dishes you can make with your kids, or for a party. I had a few ideas for this that just didn’t pan out for one reason or another. And then I realized I was completely overcomplicating it (as usual). I didn’t need to be an arts and crafts major in college to come up with something. Sometimes the simplest things that just taste great work even better.
So I made roach (one of my not-so-private phobias) infested twice-baked potatoes with roaches made from dates. My husband, Carnivorous Maximus, and I tried raisins at first – and after trying to make roaches out of them, trust me, dates are the way to go.
- 2 Idaho® russet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 slices of cheddar cheese
- 8 currants
- 5 dates
- Poke a few holes in the potatoes using a sharp knife and microwave the potatoes until softened. In my microwave oven, it takes about 10 minutes, but this will depend upon the strength of your microwave, the size of the potatoes, and your altitude. All baking takes longer at higher altitudes.
- Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise, and carefully scoop out the potato into a small bowl, leaving only the skin. Place the scooped out potato, a bit at a time into a potato ricer and press the potato into a medium-large bowl. Alternatively, you can scoop the potato out of the skins directly into a medium-large bowl and mash using a masher.
- Add the butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and stir until the butter is completely melted.
- Preheat the oven to 300˚F and place the skins on a baking sheet. Fold the mashed potatoes into the potato skins. Slice the cheddar cheese into ½" wide strips and lay them across the mashed potatoes, leaving one end of the potato open so that the mashed potatoes are visible. Tuck the cheese ends around the potatoes just inside the skins, mummy-style. Bake for 2 minutes or until the cheese slightly melts.
- Add the currants to the revealed mashed potatoes for the 'eyes'.
- Make roaches out of dates by slicing the dates in half lengthwise. This is the roach back, but it's much larger than what you need. Using a sharp knife, slice thin slivers from the sides. These will be the legs that you press onto the bottoms of the roach back. Slice the point off one end of the roach back and gently round the edges using your fingers. This is the head of the roach. Because dates are so sticky, I just press the legs and head onto the body. For roaches sticking into the potatoes, I just used a couple of legs instead of all six. If you have trouble attaching the head or legs, spoon a little cream cheese into the hollowed 'belly' of the 'roach' and attach them to the cream cheese.
- Insert the roaches into the potatoes by cut a slit through the cheese and sliding in a 'roach' back. Attach one 'leg' on either side.
- Disclaimer: I am not the artist I want to be in my imagination.
And now go check out all the other Halloween ideas, and have fun trying them out.
Fun and Spooky Potato Savory Bites:
- A Bowlful of Creepy Crawlies by kimchi MOM
- Bloody Mary Potatoes by The Messy Baker
- Devilish Potato Mummies by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Halloween Baked Potato Skin Pizzas by Alida’s Kitchen
- Jack O’Lantern Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Peppers by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Jalapeno Chili Stuffed Potato Mummies by Feed Me, Seymour
- Loaded Mashed Potato Spider Web Casserole by NeighborFood
- Mashed Potato Grave by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Mashed Potato Monsters by Ruffles & Truffles
- Monster Mash Potatoes by Curious Cuisiniere
- Roasted Potato Eyeballs by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Roasted Potato Graveyard by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Spooky Halloween Potatoes Graveyard by Clarks Condensed
- Spooky Spiderweb Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes by Rhubarb and Honey
- Stuffed Potato Spiders by Family Foodie
- Twice Baked Potato Graves by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Twice Baked Potato Mummies Covered with Roaches by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Fun and Spooky Potato Sweet Treats:
- Chocolate Potato Skull Cake by Magnolia Days
- Potato Candy Spiders by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Raspberry Ghoulash by Desserts Required
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This post is sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. All opinions are my own.