Every time I make twice baked potatoes I curse myself for not making them more often. They are hardly more work than a traditional baked potato, and while the ingredients aren’t really different (I usually put butter, sour cream and chives on my baked spuds) something magical seems to happen when you fully mix the topping into the flesh of the potato and send it back into the oven for a quick stay at finishing school.
I suspect that primarily it has to do with the fact that mixing ensures that EVERY bite of potato comes slathered in butter and sour cream (YAY!), but I think some of it has to do with the texture as well. You see, by blending the butter and sour cream into the spuds they end up almost like mashed potatoes before being loaded back into the potato skin. For me, they are the perfect hybrid in that regard as the offer both the creamy, well seasoned flavor of a good mashed potato along with the crisp jacket that has always been my favorite part of a baked spud. Huzzah!
You can certainly divide the seasoned smashed spuds equally back into the 4 half-skins, but I much prefer to overload three of the skins so that they’re piled high, leaving one leftover skin on which to nosh while cooking. Just slather it with butter and sprinkle it with salt and pepper for a special chef’s treat!
Cheers – Steve
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping
- Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 425°. Poke potatoes all over with a fork; rub with oil. Bake directly on oven rack until very soft when squeezed and skins are crisp, 50–60 minutes. Let cool just until you can hold them.
- Using a serrated knife, slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop flesh into a medium bowl. Add sour cream, butter, chives, and tarragon; season generously to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide among 3 potato skin halves, piling gloriously high—don’t pack too tightly. (And what about the leftover skin? I say add butter and salt and snack on it as a perk for the chef.)
- Increase oven temperature to 450°. Bake potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet until filling is puffed and browned in spots, 20–25 minutes.