These twice baked potatoes are always a hit; they are delicious and impressive looking, but they are really easy to prepare. Since they travel well and just need to be reheated before serving, they are great if you need to take a side dish to someone’s house. I actually have quite a few variations for fillings, but this is a simple one and is great if you don’t want the flavors to compete with the other dishes. Certainly you can add other ingredients if you’d like. Some great additions are: crumbled bacon, chopped scallions, crabmeat, or lobster meat. You can also use different types of cheese, but choose ones that will melt well. I love the gruyere because it’s not overpowering and has a bit of a nutty flavor. The parmigano and romano add a lot of flavor; you could substitute a nice blue cheese for flavor. If you can’t find creme fraiche, you can substitute sour cream. However, most supermarkets now carry creme fraiche in the dairy section near the sour cream, or you can make your own.
To make your own creme fraiche: simply combine 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 TBS. of buttermilk in a glass bowl or jar; cover and let sit at room temperature (about 70 degrees) for 8-24 hours until thickened.
- 4 Large Russet (Baking) Potatoes
- 1 Large Shallot – finely chopped
- 4 TBS. Fresh Chives – chopped
- 1/2 Cup Creme Fraiche
- 6 TBS. Unsalted Butter
- 4 Oz. Pecorino Romano – grated
- 3 Oz. Parmigano Reggiano- grated
- 3 Oz. Gruyere Cheese – grated
- 1 Egg – slightly beaten
- 3-5 TBS. Olive Oil
- 3-4 TBS. Kosher Salt
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Scrub potatoes and dry them. Drench potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt and ground pepper. Set a piece of aluminum foil, large enough to hold the potatoes, on the center rack of the oven . Bake potatoes at 375 degrees for 75 minutes – skin should be slightly crisp and potatoes should give slightly when squeezed. While potatoes are cooking, saute shallots in butter over medium heat. Remove potatoes from oven, set on cooling rack and allow to cool for about 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, gently scoop out the insides and put in a bowl. When scooping out the potatoes insides, be careful not to scoop so deep as to break the skin. Add creme fraiche, chives, cheeses, sauteed shallots with butter and salt and pepper to potatoes and, using a potato masher, mix until thoroughly combined. Add more creme fraiche if mixture seems too dry. Return the potato mixture to the skins. Place the stuffed potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the tops are slightly browned and the insides are heated through. Serve with extra creme fraiche on the side. Garnish with fresh chopped chives or parsley. Serves 8 (or 6 with leftovers – they reheat very well.)