YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

A yummy baked potato loaded with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives and crisp bacon bits!

Hasselback Russet PotatoIngredients:
4 large russet potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter, thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, fried crispy, crumbled
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIirections:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Melt butter, set aside
3. Wash, pat potatoes dry with a paper towel, and oil each potato thoroughly
4. Slice crosswise in each potato, about 1/8-inch apart, to 1/4 inch from the bottom
5. Position the potatoes on a baking sheet, allowing at least 1/4 inch clearance on every side
6. Drizzle half tablespoon melted butter, lengthwise, on each potato
7. Place into oven and bake until the outsides are well browned (about 1 hour and 5 minutes)
8. Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until brown and crispy (10 minutes)
9. Remove bacon from the skillet and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain
10. When potatoes are ready, top with the remaining butter
11. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven until melted (about 5 minutes)
12. Serve potatoes hot, topped with sour cream, bacon and chives

Larry dicing onionsI have a wooden spoon with a flat handle that lays flat on the counter, and I use it to stop me from cutting clear through the potato by just laying it alongside the potato I am cutting. The wooden spoon stops the blade just the right height from the cutting board. Rather than baking mine in the oven, I use a microwave potato cooking bag that cooks a large russet potato in ten minutes, and cook two at a time in about twelve-thirteen minutes. Smaller potatoes cook even more quickly. Since you can only microwave two at a time, use two potato bags. cook the first two just a minute or two under the full cooking time, and leave them in their bag. Then you can finish them when the other two come out, and serve four fluffy hot potatoes in half the time.