October is National Cheese Month, National Potato Month and National Sausage Month.
So thanks to the folks at the Idaho Potato Commission for sending us a recipe that combines all three ingredients: a triple-holiday treat.
Some people like their baked potato skins harder; others like them softer. Just rub the potato skins with olive oil if you prefer a softer potato skin.
Most people might use a package of shredded cheddar for this recipe. But for extra flavor, we used Cabot’s horseradish cheddar.
You can use garlic, habanero, or any other flavor of cheddar you desire.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Pierce the potatoes with a fork several times. Rub the potato skins with olive oil if a softer potato skin is desired. Bake the potatoes directly on the middle oven rack for 50-60 minutes or until they yield to gentle pressure. While the potatoes are baking…
2. COOK the turkey sausage. Drain the sausage, crumble it and set it aside.
3. REMOVE the potatoes from the oven with an oven mitt, turning down the oven to 400°F. While the potatoes are still hot, cut them in half lengthwise. Leaving a shell about 1/4-inch thick all around, scoop out the interior flesh into a medium-sized bowl. Mash, using a potato masher.
4. HEAT the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, until hot but not boiling. Add the milk to the mashed potatoes a little at a time, mashing again after each addition.
Mix in the butter and mash all until smooth. Add the salt, white pepper and chives, and mix together thoroughly. Stir in the shredded cheese and sausage.
5. USING a spoon, gently fill the potato shells with the potato mixture, mounding it up high. Place the filled potatoes onto a baking sheet, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and top with the optional sliced sausage links (see photo). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until hot. Serve.