Twice Baked Potatoes
This is an old American classic. Probably I would never post ‘me too’ version of this recipe but it is a very important part of the ‘best of the best in American culinary’ page of my blog. It is especially important for me, who started a new life in the USA not that many years ago.
My husband and I are learning and introducing the traditions of our new home. So for our son a ‘Turkey table’, Christmas cookies, corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick Day, Valentine’s chocolate cookies, and burgers for the Labor Day – all have become family traditions with their own holiday flavors and tastes. He knows that these are the best days when family members are together: all of us are safe, smiling, laughing, playing, joking, eating – enjoying delicious food and each other. And I am sure that he will remember the sweet home aroma and will carry his love and memories through his entire life.
The flavors selection for this dish can be endless. Personally I like to use green onions, fried onions, cooked bacon, sautéed mushrooms or some vegetables. The gruyere, English cheddar, blue cheese or goat cheese are my favorites. The addition of various spices and herbs will let you to discover new flavors. Herbs de Provence, Italian seasoning, pasta seasoning, piri-piri, cumin, chipotle, or Cajun – they all add another tasting dimension to the classic dish. When serving, I usually sprinkle potatoes with herbs, paprika (or smoked paprika), or chopped sun-dried tomatoes and/or olives.
One large potato is usually enough for me and my husband, and typically I am cutting the potato in half lengthwise. But if you have a great appetite, probably you will need the whole potato per person.
Twice baked potatoes are great for a holiday table. The potatoes can be baked and filled in advance. Take them from a refrigerator 20-30 minutes before baking and then bake.
This is a big plus for a busy holiday season, isn’t it?
Oops, I dropped the camera … the final photos were taken with another one, so they turned out more “dramatic.”
Twice Baked Potatoes
- 2 large baking or russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
- ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- ½ cup grated cheddar or gruyere cheese (I have mixture of white and yellow cheddar)
- Dash of grated nutmeg
- 1 clove garlic, minced (I use a garlic press)
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2-4 small pieces butter for serving (optional)
- Fresh chives or green onion for serving
Preheat an oven to 400-425 F (200-220 C).
Rub the potatoes with the olive oil and bake them for 40-60 minutes. Check with wooden skewer or a small knife – they should be tender.
Remove from the oven, cool slightly.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F (190 C).
Trim of the top of each potato or cut each potato in half lengthwise for a smaller portion.
Scoop out the potato into a bowl. Mash the potato with a fork. Stir in sour cream, cheese, garlic, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper.
Set the potato skins on a baking sheet. Fill them with the puree; with a spoon or a fork make any pattern on the surface; drizzle with the olive oil and bake until slightly golden on top, for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the twice baked potatoes from the oven, transfer to a platter or tray, and, if desired, insert a piece of butter into each potato boat; sprinkle with chives or green onions.
Cook with pleasure!