24 small red potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese finely shredded
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cooked bacon pieces finely chopped, about 3 strips of bacon
2 green onions minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place potatoes on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until they can be easily pierced with fork.
2 Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
3) Let potatoes cool until able to handle then slice off the tops of each potato scoop out center of potato with melon baller and place in medium size bowl. Repeat with remaining potatoes and place potato shells back on baking tray.
4) Melt butter and mix with buttermilk. Add to potatoes. Use hand mixer to mix together until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon more buttermilk if needed. Don’t overwork potatoes or they’ll become gluey. Stir in cheese, bacon pieces and green onions. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
5) Spoon potato mixture into potato shells and mound a bit more on top. Garnish with extra shredded cheese and bacon bits if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until warmed through and cheese is melting. Serve while hot and garnish with more minced green onion if desired.