These twice-baked potatoes puts all others to shame.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, Fine Cooking is my all-time favorite magazine. Their recipes are no-nonsense, uncomplicated, and always delicious. This months (April/May 2014) issue is no exception.
There are days when I don't feel I have the energy or desire to make an overly involved recipe, or even go out to dinner. On these days, I'll make a baked potato and a salad, and call it a day. Normally, I will just give it a sprinkle of s&p, maybe add some Greek yogurt. Boy, have I been missing out.
Twice-baked potatoes are a bit more involved than your throw-in-the-oven baked potato, but so worth it. I took the main recipe of Potatoes with Cheddar and Chives, and added the sautéed mushrooms from a variation suggestion. A very good call on my part if I do say so myself; the flavor was out of this world - the mushrooms added an earthy, almost meaty flavor, the cheese lending a creamy tartness to the flaky flesh, with a hint of onion from the scallions sprinkled on top. Bliss. Pure bliss.
My husband also mentioned that I'll have to make these again, maybe for his lunch one day. He even joked about putting in a real oven down at the shop. Hmm.. not a bad idea, actually.
As I inhaled this heavenly meal, my mind was running overtime on how else I could present this deliciousness. I'm thinking potato pancakes - served with a red pepper sauce, or add the same flavors to your holiday mashed potatoes, or.. leave well enough alone.
These were fabulous... you gotta make em.
Twice-Baked Potatoes with Cheddar, Chives, and
Serves 4 as a main course
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
4 large russet potatoes (10-12 oz. each),
scrubbed, pierced 5 or 6 times with a fork
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. coarsely grated sharp or extra-sharp cheddar (1 cup)
¼ sour cream (I used non-fat Fage Greek yogurt)
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
Sautéed mushrooms (recipe follows)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
Cut a ½-inch thick slice lengthwise off the top of each potato; scrape the flesh from the slices into a large bowl and discard the skins. Spoon the flesh from the potatoes into the bowl, leaving a ¼-inch shell. Add the butter, ¾ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper and mix with a potato masher until blended; do not overwork (lumps or OK). Gently fold in the sour cream and half of the cheese, and the sautéed mushrooms, with a silicone spatula. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
Using your fingers, rub the outsides of potato shells with the oil (my husband thought butter would be good). Distribute the filling among the shells, mounding it, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. (This can be done up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and heat the oven to 400°F before continuing.)
Bake the potatoes, uncovered, until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. (To check, insert the blade of a small knife into the center of a potato for 5 seconds; it should be hot.) Sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining cheese and bake until the cheese melts and browns lightly in some places, 2 to 3 minutes more. Garnish the potatoes with the chives, let sit 5 to 10 minutes, and serve.
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 Tbl. butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
¼ tsp. kosher salt.
In a pan, sauté the mushrooms in the butter, along with the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt, until the mushrooms have released their liquid, and the liquid has evaporated.
Fine Cooking/April-May 2014