Double Baked Potato
A double baked potato is one of the most versatile recipes to have available in your cooking arsenal. Why? You might ask. Well there are two answers.
First the double baked potato can be used as a side dish or it can be used as a meal unto itself and it is a great side dish when you are entertaining guests (it can be partially prepared ahead of time and it needs little hand holding in its final preparation).
Secondarily, the ingredients you use can vary dramatically. In many cases the double baked potato is a great spot to use up left over herbs and allows you to express your creativity.
Because of the enormous flexibility of a double baked potato we have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to present it. What we have decided to do is present you with what we call the bare bones double baked potato and then give you some suggestions on things you might add to make it even more fantastic.
You, of course, can use your favorite mashed potato recipe!
The bare bones ingredients below are for 2 double baked potatoes. If Loraine and I are having it as a side dish, we generally only make 1 and we each eat a half. It is a very filling item.
Use the ingredient list below as a suggestion of how much of an ingredient you may want to put in the potatoes. Remember it is only a suggestion!
Bare Bones Ingredients:
- 2 Russet baking potatoes (if possible choose potatoes that are round, rather than flat)
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 egg yolk (one egg yolk is enough for 4 potatoes)
- 1 tbsp scallions minced (can be mixed into the mashed potatoes and/or placed on top of the baked potato)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Onion or Shallot
- Other spices such as Paprika or Italian spice mixture
- Yogurt, Crème fraîche, buttermilk, cream or milk as an alternative to the sour cream
- Cheese, almost any cheese is compatible with this recipe including but not limited to cheddar, provolone, Swiss, cream cheese, blue cheese. (Do not use cheese that does not require refrigeration; ever!).
- Herbs such as chervil, basil, chives, rosemary, thyme, parsley as an addition to or alternative to the green onions
- Bacon bits (from real bacon)
- Olives, almost any olive is compatible with this recipe (usually sliced and placed on the top of the finished baked potato).
- Red, green, yellow or orange pepper (usually chopped and placed on the top of the finished baked potato).
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Wash and dry the potatoes.
- Rub a small amount of vegetable oil over the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes on a foil lined baking tray.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until cooked (use the tip of a knife pushed through the top of the potato to determine doneness).
- Using a knife remove the top third of the potato, being careful not to damage the skin. We will be using the top piece so don't throw it away and don't throw away the aluminum foil on the baking tray, we're going to use it again.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the potato that is inside the skin, top and bottom, and place the scooped out potato in a bowl. Do not damage the potato skin when scooping out the potato, but it is important to remove as much potato as possible.
- Add your ingredients into the bowl with the scooped out potatoes.
- A couple of things to note when adding the ingredients:
If you are using butter, add it first. You want the heat of the potatoes to melt the butter.
If you are using a whole egg or just an egg yolk, add all of your cold ingredients first. The egg could cook if the potatoes are too hot.
- Mix all your ingredients together and then taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Take the top piece of potato skin and place it in the bottom piece of potato skin, with the inside of the potato pointing up. This adds extra height to the finished potato.
- Fill the potato skins (shells) with your mashed potatoes.
Note: You can stop here, place some plastic wrap over the potatoes. If it will be longer than a couple of hours before you continue, refrigerate until 30 minutes before they will be served.
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- To finish the double baked potatoes place the filled potato shells on the foil lined baking tray.
- Drizzle some melted butter over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, if the potatoes have not been refrigerated and for 35 minutes if they have been refrigerated.