I grew up loving twice baked potatoes. On yearly visits to my Great Aunt’s house in Phoenixville, PA my mouth watered in anticipation of this simple yet sumptuous side dish. Walking into her beautiful turn of the century house included the aroma of potatoes and beef baking. Completely effortless and wonderful.
To this day when I smell potatoes baking I am transported back to my Great Aunt’s dinner table. Not only did she provide food that satisfied the soul but side splitting stories and anecdotes that made choking on food all to possible. The antique dining room was also adorned with beautiful fresh cut flower arrangements from her extensive gardens, another expertise she mastered in her 90 plus years of life. Once again, food and memories tied together for a singular poignant recollection of growing up.
Twice baked potatoes are simply mashed in their natural container of a crispy baked skin. The addition of sour cream, butter, salt and pepper is straightforward and pleasing. My Aunt added a healthy sprinkling of paprika on top to create a sweet peppery crust. Adding any kind of cheese, garlic, fresh herbs or bacon only makes them better.
To prepare simply bake potatoes, cut off a small portion at the top and scoop out the flesh. Mash it with the other ingredients and spoon it back into the skin “shell”. Re-bake for 20 minutes and you have a truly delicious and versatile dish.
These potatoes are perfect for a complicated holiday dinner. Make them a couple of days before and store in the refrigerator. Then just pop the potatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes. Whether for Thanksgiving, Christmas or weekday dinner, I hope sweet and tender memories are made for all who partake in your special meal.
Cheddar Chive Twice Baked Potatoes
6 medium russet potatoes
½ cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup pre-shredded medium cheddar
½ cup chopped fresh chives (cutting chives with scissors works best)
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Thoroughly clean the outside of potatoes and pierce each several times with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
Let potatoes cool for 5 minutes then cut off top third of potato. Scoop out flesh leaving a ¼ inch of potato.
Beat potato, sour cream, cheese, butter, chives, garlic and salt until smooth.
Scoop potato mixture back into the skin shells and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
In honor of Thanksgiving, Food Network is getting the entire food community together to celebrate a Virtual Thanksgiving, called The Communal Table, on Wednesday, November 16 at noon EST.
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