Throw a Twice-Baked Potato Party
From Faith Middleton: The twice-baked potato is one of the ultimate comfort foods, and as easy to do as it is delicious. Because of its umami charm, I just threw a twice-baked potato party that was a big hit. All you do is prepare a big salad, and put out bowls of add-ins so your guests can make their own stuffing mixtures for the final 30-minute baking session.
I was inspired to create my party after reading a feature in Fine Cooking magazine about how to do a twice-baked spud at home. That's a main course, I said to myself, and what fun to see the items my friends would choose to mix in. Fine Cooking's Cheddar Chive potatoes are listed here. After that recipe, we'll tell you what we like to add in at our Faith Middleton Food Schmooze Parties.
You'll need russet potatoes for this. Below you'll find a variety of mixtures to mix into the potato stuffing before baking. Give each guest a bowl of potato and invite him or her to choose among the bowls you've put out containing add-ins.
When you bake the potatoes a second time, put them on a large sheet of parchment paper in your baking tray(s), and write each guests name next to his or her creation. Every guest makes two potatoes, one for tasting by the crowd.
(Baking recipe from Fine Cooking magazine, April/May 2014)
Serves 4 as a main course
INGREDIENTS FOR CHEDDAR CHIVE
4 large russet potatoes (10-12 oz. each), scrubbed and pierced 5 or 6 times with fork
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup extra sharp cheddar
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
INSTRUCTIONS for BAKING:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, heated at 400° F. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack (no pan) and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about an hour and 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a cutting board and let them cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
- Cut a ½-inch-thick slice lengthwise off the top of each potato. Scrape the flesh from the slices into a large bowl and discard the skins. Spoon the potato flesh into a big bowl, leaving a ¼-inch shell. Add the butter, ¾ teaspoons of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper and mix with a potato masher until blended; do not overwork. (Lumps are okay.) Gently fold in the sour cream and half of the cheese, using a silicone spatula. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
- Using your fingers, rub the outsides of the potato shells with the oil. Distribute the filling among the shells, mounding it, and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake the potatoes, uncovered, until heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. (To check, insert the blade of a small knife into the center of a potato for 5 seconds; the blade should be hot.) Sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining cheese and bake again until the cheese melts and browns lightly in some places, 2 to 3 minutes more. Garnish the potatoes with the chives, let sit 5 to 10 minutes, and serve.
Faith Middleton Food Schmooze Potato Party Add-Ins!
(Faith:) To go Spanish, mix the potatoes with a little extra virgin olive oil, fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels, grated manchego cheese, and diced, dry-cured Palacios brand Spanish chorizo. After the second baking, top with a little more grated Manchego cheese on top. Bake another 5 to 10 minutes, remove from the oven, sprinkle on fresh, diced chives, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
(Chris:) Mix the potatoes with crispy bacon, crumbled, and sour cream. After the second baking, top with grated cheddar cheese and re-bake until it melts and becomes golden, about 5 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then top with fresh diced chives and serve.
(Lori:) Mix the potatoes with cooked lobster meat, truffle oil and corn kernels. Bake and serve.
(Faith and Chris) Make a pizza potato by filling the bottom of the empty shell with a little jarred pizza sauce. Mix the potato filling with a little more sauce, diced pepperoni, chopped onions, or any other favorite toppings. After the second baking, add grated mozzarella to the top and re-bake about 5 to 10 minutes. Wait 5 minutes, then serve.
(Faith:) To make a buffalo-style twice-baked potato, mix together a little melted butter with Frank's Hot Sauce, shredded chicken, and the potato filling. After the second baking, top with crumbled blue cheese and re-bake for 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.
(Chris:) To make Your Hair's On Fire Twice-Baked potatoes, mix the potato filling with cooked diced shrimp, and hot andouille sausage. After the second baking, top it with pepper jack cheese and re-bake for 5 minutes. Let it set for 5 minutes, then serve.
(Lori:) Mix the potato filling with chopped hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard and pickle relish. Re-bake and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
(Chris:) Mix the potato filling with sliced cooked mushrooms, truffle oil and parmesan cheese. Re-bake, and sprinkle on a little more grated cheese. Bake again until it browns. Let it sit 5 minutes and serve.
How to Clean Leeks
- Chris Prosperi is chef/owner of Metro Bis Restaurant in Simsbury, CT.
- Mollie Katzen is the author of Heart of the Plate.