Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe! Make-Ahead, Eat-Aplenty

Gentle Readers, please lean in close for this family confessional: mashed potatoes are a hotly contested item in the family cookbooks, and have not been served at Thanksgiving in decades, if ever. There are so many different styles, The Practical Cooks Junior don’t eat them reliably, etc. A few years back, The Practical Cook lived up to her name and solved, or rather, bypassed the problem.

Thankful for Twice-Baked Potatoes

Thankful for Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe (to the Rescue)

If you’re Martha Stewart, and you may be, you have some complex method for keeping mashed potatoes warm or reheating them. This recipe eliminates the issue, freeing you to wrestle with the bird, enjoy an extra glass of wine, or wreak havoc with Brussels sprouts and a mandoline. Adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated, you can be a fussy cook days in advance, and reheat without batting an eyelash the day of.

8 medium-sized Russet potatoes, plus 2 extras in case something goes tragically wrong, cleaned well, oiled lightly, pierced slightly
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk
8 ounces Tillamook cheddar cheese, shredded (I can’t emphasize enough: use a good sharp cheddar or don’t even bother with cheese)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
Generous 1 teaspoon of salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Hello my pretties. Oiled Russets lined up in a row.

Hello my pretties. Oiled Russets lined up in a row.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes on foil-lined baking sheet until they are cooked through, at least an hour. Do not skimp here, or you will rue the spuds. Better to err on a few minutes too long. And don’t skip piercing them. I don’t care what the experts say, until you’ve cleaned up a detonated spud in your oven, you’ve not truly exhausted your cursing vocabulary. When potatoes are cooked, transfer them to a wire rack to cool, about 10 minutes.

Potatoes scooped and ready to return for the drying cycle.

Potatoes scooped and ready to return for the drying cycle.

2. Cut each potato in half, whilst trying not to burn yourself doing it. I recommend a kitchen towel, a sharp knife, and some tough hands. Use a small spoon and scoop the flesh into a large bowl, leaving the slightest bit of potato on the skin, like a “tato skin” appetizer at a bar. When you’ve scooped them all, put the shells back on the lined baking sheet and return to the oven to dry for about 10 minutes.

Mash the potato flesh to your preferred smoothness, then add the cheese and scallions.

Mash the potato flesh to your preferred smoothness, then add the cheese and scallions.

3. While the potato flesh (just going to keep using that term, gross) is still hot (grosser), add the butter and mash. Stir in sour cream, buttermilk, black pepper and salt, mash some more. Stir in cheese and scallions, taste, adjust seasonings.

Mound the filling in the tato skin!

Mound the filling in the tato skin!

4. Remove shells from oven. Scoop potato mixture back into the shells, mounding them slightly. (Remember, you’ve added volume with the other ingredients, so you’ve got more now.) You can stop at this phase and store the potatoes tightly wrapped in the fridge until you’re ready for the final show. If you’re hungry now, proceed to step 5.

Twice-Baked Potatoes, Ready for Dinner!

Twice-Baked Potatoes, Ready for Dinner!

5. Turn the oven on to broil. Put potatoes on a lined sheet and broil them until spotty brown and crisp on top, 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.

Are you a fan of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving? What about twice-baked potatoes? Enter your spud vote by commenting below!

Send your Thanksgiving questions, blog suggestions, and knock knock jokes to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, it’s a seasonal Tasting Tuesday: Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream.


Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table, Recipes

4 responses to “Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe! Make-Ahead, Eat-Aplenty

  1. this house is simply stuffed with potato fans. eldest daughter recently said that a friend of hers was planning to have a “mashed potato bar” at her wedding reception. breathlessly, with dreamy eyes and swooning voice, eldest said: “i thought that was the *best* idea i had ever heard of!”

    so, yeah, leftover mashed potatoes don’t last long, and are eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. twice baked are popular as well, and it’s one way i sneak veggies into their mouths, a favorite being broccoli. but nothing surpasses a sprinkling of that most popular “vegetable”: bacon bits! (also, i like to put some extra chedder on top before finishing the twice-baked under the broiler..)

    • The Practical Cook

      Ha! I love the most popular vegetable! For some reason, leftover mashed potatoes play better here than first-runs. It’s true with this recipe, shepherd’s pie, and as a filling for salmon cakes. Oh well!

  2. Pingback: Weekly Menus: Week of 2/5/2012 | The Practical Cook

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