Your boring baked potato just got all kinds of sexy with this Bloomin’ Loaded Baked Potatoes recipe! Crispy skinned potato wedges all covered in melty cheese and crispy bacon. Yeah, life just got a whole lot tastier!
For all of you newbies that found your way recently to the TKW Family, WELCOME! Now there are a few things you need to know about me and my personality. The way I write my posts and describe my recipes is I envision you’re sitting with me in my kitchen either watching me cook/bake or you’re helping me. We’re chatting and laughing like we’ve been friends for decades – like the kind of friends who don’t judge you if you wear your sweats pants on inside out, your hair is a hot mess or if you trip will laugh til they cry all the while helping you up. When I write I open up my home and life as I want you guys to relate to me and to feel like you’re with me as I’m cooking or doing something. You feel at home here, even if you’re half way across the world, you still feel like family.
Something else you need to know about me – my husband is Mr. Fantabulous who has the metabolism of 967 people. No seriously it’s unreal. I, on the other hand, have a negative metabolism (if there’s such a thing) meaning I don’t even have to eat food to gain jiggle. I’m obsessed with pigs but I love bacon. My logic is simply this – bacon is made from ugly pigs, not the uber cutsie ones that are dressed up. I want a mini teacup pig, a cat and a dog but since our house is still being remodeled (9+ years now – we’re doing it ourselves) it’s not safe to have pets. I loathe anything cherries – I mean we’re talking not even cherry lip gloss. Pizza is my all time favorite food and my favorite veggie is the potato. Thus this recipe… an ode to the glorious spud.
I’m sure at some point in your lives you’ve had some facet of a “Bloomin’ Onion” either from Outback Steakhouse or some other restaurant. And even if you haven’t, you’ve had to have heard of them. Right? So these bloomin’ onions were cut in a way that, when batter dipped and deep fried would ‘bloom’ in the hot oil thus making the onion to look like a blooming flower.
Now another thing you newbies need to know about me is that I was a ridiculously picky eater as a child (and even into my early adult years). I mean we’re talking I was the girl that created the ‘squinched up nose yuck face’ look. I would never eat anything with an onion and god help any one that gave me a dish with a visible chunk of vegetable. I was that girl that had a 40 pound Maine Coon cat growing up because I used to feed him my yucky things – onions, tomatoes, lunch meat, Brussels sprouts (though he did get sick from them later) and whatever else I didn’t want to eat. So Mama would often make 2 things – one for the rest of the family and something simple for me – I lived on peanut butter and jelly or buttered spaghetti noodles.
We didn’t have much options food-wise meaning we couldn’t just run to the store if were out of cereal or meat. I grew up really poor – no we’re talking REALLY poor. So Mom, Dad and Grandma made everything from scratch. We’d grow our own fruits and veggies and make our own stuff. Dad and my one brother would hunt (though to this day I will not eat venison – just can’t stand it). We’d buy meats in bulk from a butcher or often times my Dad would barter for the meats. He’d work on a car or fix a tractor for various things. So I learned at a very, very young age how to make home made breads, rolls and that all you need to make something from nothing is just a few pantry items. Flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water were my ‘toys’ as I would experiment on how to make things. Honestly out of the all schooling I’ve had in my life what I learned from my parents and grandmother to this day are the most important things I’ve ever learned. They taught me how to respect ingredients, how to be creative, how to think and most importantly how to appreciate.
Sadly my parents passed away when I was young so I had to grow up quickly. And even though I have 5 older siblings, due to them being considerably older than I, I often felt like an only child. I was in my mid-20’s when I bought my first house and it was at that point I really, really got into cooking and baking. Granted I had years of experience already under my belt helping to run my brother’s pizza shop and catering business (and creating my own side business) I didn’t start to really “get” how onions and those yucky things really were important to a dish. Eventually I started to incorporate them and then actually learned to love them. I often leaned on my childhood memories of “how Mom and Dad” made it for inspiration.
For years I would have never eaten one of those Bloomin’ onions but now, oh yeah it’s one!
This recipe is my ‘take’ on those deliciously bad for your onion petals. Let’s face it – if it’s fried it’s a safe bet it’s gonna be delicious. But I didn’t want to fry anything because I want to take off those extra pounds I put on this past year and also I wanted to make it out of potatoes (confession time – I had a crap ton of potatoes to use up too). When it comes to making those onions, they are pretty straight forward to make but when it came to the potato I wasn’t 100% sure. I mean I know I had to cut the top off and then cut the sides like I show in the picture below but I couldn’t figure how to get the middle pieces to bloom out. So I took to google and I found the trick here on how to get the middle part of the potato to ‘bloom’.
When you cut your first one go slow and pay attention. The biggest thing is when you insert the thin blade parry knife is not to push it all the way through and come out the other side. Just make rings – think like a bullseye. The other important thing is when you flip it over and start to cut the ‘petals’ you need to keep the bottom uncut – leave about a 1″ rectangle strip alone. Other than that, it’s super simple.
Once they are all cut, just place them oval-ring side up, drizzle some oil and salt on them (you could even add garlic butter too if you wanted) and bake. After about 45-55 minutes in the oven the potatoes will be crispy on the outside and the exposed flesh will have a slight burn to them in some spots. They should feel tender to the touch. At that point, to make them loaded just add some cheese and crispy bacon in/on and pop it back in the oven for a few just to melt.
The first time I made these and served them to Mr. Fantabulous I got “the look”. Now again newbies “the look” from Mr. Fantabulous means is questioning why I took a something that he loved and made it all fancy schmancy. Yes apparently cutting it like this makes it fancy – okay, I’m cool with that. Then I got the “um, how do I eat this???” Now I’m a wise guy so I said “Um your fingers… DUH”. LOL Yeah I’m a brat but he loves. So he waited and watched me. When he saw me ‘pluck’ it like a Bloomin’ onion petal then he realized what I did… THEN it was good to eat. He actually stopped eating his steak just so he could concentrate on this.
What’s funny is he’s more of a sweet potato lover than a regular spud but when I make these, he inhales them.
Oh speaking of sweet potatoes, yes you can most certainly make them like this. However what I do with them is instead of topping them with cheese, onions and sour cream I’ll top them with a maple bacon topping with a hint of thyme. SOOOOOOOOOOO good!!! You honestly can’t go wrong with these things. Also this recipe does work on the smaller Yukon and red potatoes though the baking time will need reduced. For standard Yukon/Red tater size go with about 30 minutes roasting then another 10-15 minutes.
My next attempt with these are those fingerling potatoes – I have a ‘vision’ on what I want them to look like and I can’t wait to try them out.
Anyway to you newbies, welcome again! I’m thrilled you found me! And to my long time family members – I’d be lost without you guys! So next time you want to make some taters, give these a shot however I will warn you – you may never make baked potatoes again any other way than this!Print
- 4 large Russet baking potatoes
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- 1-2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
- 4-5 slices of cheddar cheese, cut into smaller pieces
- Green onions for garnish
- Sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400F, rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Turn one of the potatoes on its side and cut off the top portion of it about a 1/4” from the top creating an oval slice on the top.
- Using a parry knife (small thin blade) insert it in the top of the potato making small rings – space them out about 1/4” apart. You want insert the blade almost all the way down to the bottom of the potato but do not go all the way through the other side.
- Next, turn the potato over on the cut side and taking the tip of a sharp knife make cuts starting all the way around. *IMPORTANT – looking at your potato leave a 1” rectangular piece uncut – this is what will help “bloom” your potato.
- Flip the potato back over and repeat the above steps on the remaining ones.
- Place the cut potatoes (oval ring cut side facing up) on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
- Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven, drizzle the tops with more olive oil and bake for 10 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven and carefully insert the cheese slices into the wedges of potatoes being careful not to pry them apart. Add the bacon and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Plate and top with green onions and sour cream on the side.
This can be done exactly the same with Sweet Potatoes too!