Twice Baked Potatoes
Potatoes are sooo good. But they are also so common, that I’m always looking for new ways to make them. This recipe brings me back to my East Coast days, and great pub food. The dish is pretty easy to make, despite having to “bake twice”. Really we’re just adding about 10 minutes of prep and mixing, and a few more minutes of cook time, to a standard baked potato.
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
Here are the key things I’d like you to watch out for when making a twice baked potato:
- Make sure you cook the potato all the way through. I find a potato will take about hour in a 375 degree oven, but it may go longer. More important than time, you’re looking to fee a soft texture when you squeeze the potato. It needs to be soft to scoop out the inside for the stuffing.
- When you scoop the potato, take about three quarters of the “meat” out, leaving the rest. That will provide enough stability to work with.
- When you’re making the stuffing, make sure you have a good balance of flavors by tasting it before re-stuffing the potato. That is the time to make any flavor adjustments. I like to use an herb, a cheese, butter, and sour cream as a core base. You can then add other ingredients like bacon, ham, mushroom, onion…
Ingredients for Twice Baked Potato
- Russet potato (I like a half potato per person – these amounts are for one potato)
- Chives – tablespoon finely chopped
- Butter – tablespoon
- Sour cream - tablespoon
- Cheddar cheese – 3 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper
Bake the potato
- Using a fork, pierce the outside of the uncooked potato in 5 – 10 places. This lets some steam out while it cooks and helps prevent the skin from breaking.
- Place the potato in a 375 degree oven until cooked (soft when squeezed); about one hour
- Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes; it should be hot, but not too hot to handle
Make the potato stuffing
- Slice the potato in half, the long way, so you have to shallow “ovals” of potato.
- Cradling one half in your hands (use a towel if it’s too hot) use a spoon to scoop out most of the potato to make a “boat”. Leave about a quarter inch of potato intact with the skin to provide some stability to the boat (if you go too close to the skin it will be too hard to handle). Put the scooped potato into a mixing bowl. Repeat with the other half.
- Add the remaining ingredients (retain 1 tablespoon of cheese) to the scooped potato, and mix together with with salt and pepper. Once mixed, taste the stuffing for the right seasoning and balance of ingredients and adjust if needed.
- Re-fill your potato boats with the stuffing, and top with the remaining cheese
Finish the potato
- Place the refilled potatoes back in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 375 or until the top is golden brown
- Remove and serve
These twice baked potatoes make a great side dish with a steak (it’s like being in a steak house), but go great with chicken and fish as well. Hope you make them soon.