BACON ‘N' BLUE TWICE BAKED POTATOES
Bake potatoes in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for about 45 to 50 minutes or until fork tender. Or, microwave potatoes on HIGH power for about 7 minutes or until fork tender. With a sharp knife, cut a thin slice lengthwise from the top of each potato; scoop out each potato, leaving the shells intact. Place scooped potato in a medium bowl; set potato shells aside.
While potatoes are baking, pan-fry bacon in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat until crisp; drain thoroughly on absorbent paper and coarsely crumble. Or place bacon on absorbent paper in a microwave oven and microwave at HIGH power for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp; coarsely crumble bacon and set aside.
With a potato masher, mash potato; add sour cream, blue cheese, milk, butter or olive oil and mash again or beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in onions, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste, mixing well. Spoon potato mixture into reserved potato shells, dividing evenly and mounding potato mixture.
Arrange stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet; bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 15 to 20 minutes or until completely heated through. May broil, about 4 inches from heat source, for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned on top, if desired. Or, microwave at 50% power for 3 minutes or until completely heated through. Serve immediately, garnished with a sprinkle of paprika or minced parsley, if desired, and crumbled crisp bacon.