Bacon Ranch Baked Potatoes
4 largebaking potatoes
4 ozsliced mushrooms
1 smallbell pepper, sliced
1 mediumonion, sliced
4 slicebacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cshredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 Tbspranch dressing
·salt & pepper, to taste
·additional butter, if desired
4 largecherry tomatoes, sliced (for garnish)
How to Make Bacon Ranch Baked Potatoes
- Clean your potatoes with a stiff-bristled brush and cold water. After you've thoroughly cleaned the potatoes, look them over and remove any bruises or mis-colored spots.
- Using a fork, work your way around each potato stabbing deeply into it's flesh. 6-12 stabs should do it depending on the size of the potatoes you are using. This allows steam to escape during the cooking process.
- Dry the potatoes off with a paper towel and preheat the oven to 350°F. Take a small bowl and add just a splash of your chosen oil, and have a container ready for the potatoes once they've been oiled. Then lightly salt and pepper each one and put aside as you wait for the oven to heat up.
- Once the oven has heated, arrange the potatoes directly on the cooking rack and place a baking sheet on the rack underneath them to catch any drippings.
- Cooking time will vary from 1 hour and up depending on the size and quantity of potatoes you cook. The skin should be puffed up, golden-brown and crispy, and the potato should squish easily and be very soft on the inside.
- When the potatoes have about 15 minutes of cooking left, heat a medium skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of butter and let melt. Add the mushrooms and onions. Sprinkle with a little salt and cook for about 7-9 minutes, or until onions are golden brown. Add the peppers.
- Once the potatoes have been properly cooked, carefully remove from the oven. Keep in mind that potatoes retain heat for quite a while, so use tongs or an insulated cooking mitt to remove the potatoes.
- Cut the potatoes open and fluff with a fork. Add butter, additional salt and pepper (if desired). Top the potatoes with the mushroom, onion and pepper mixture, cheese and top with crumbled bacon pieces.
- Place on a microwavable plate and microwave in intervals of 30 seconds until the cheese has melted.
- Add ranch dressing and additional cheese if desired. Garnish with cherry tomatoes that have been halved, if desired.