A Squared: Friday Finds: [Lightend Up] Twice-Baked Potatoes

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Finds: [Lightend Up] Twice-Baked Potatoes

I have such fond memories of twice-baked potatoes. They're a bit more work than your typical baked potato, so my mom only made these on special occasions-- like with Christmas dinner or for my dad's birthday. They're a bit of a throwback dish, but for sure the ultimate comfort food: potatoes, sour cream, and cheese. You can't really beat that combination, right?

I think I have only attempted a twice-baked potato maybe once. Generally, I try to avoid them since that potato, sour cream, and cheese trifecta is both delicious, but also really fattening. Well, I was flipping through a new cookbook that my sister gave me for my birthday and came across a recipe for twice-baked potatoes and decided it was time to revisit them. I was feeling inspired this time around because the recipe came from America's Test Kitchen's Comfort Food Makeovers: All Your Favorites Made Lighter. That's right, folks: lighter twice-baked potatoes!

Spoiler alert: These are delicious! They are still super rich, big on flavor, and the outside is crispy with a creamy inside. And the filling kind of tastes like baked potato soup. Also, I always wondered how steakhouses got that prefectly crispy skin on the outside of the baked potato (which I can enver acheive at home). This recipe cleared that up for me and the skins were crsipy and delicious.

I halved the recipe-- using 2 potatoes-- but these are so rich that each of us only ate one half. So, now I have a great lunch packed for today too. Serve these as a side dish for your next special occasion or just on a regular weeknight like we did along with grilled pork tenderloin and broccoli.


  • 4 [8-oz.] Russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tsp. canola oil *I used light olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and middle positions and heat oven to 400 degrees. Rub potatoes with oil and place directly on the upper rack. Bake until skins are crisp and deep brown and a fork glides easily through flesh, about 1 hour, flipping them over halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.

Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a wire rack. Transfer baked potatoes to rack and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

Cut each potato in half lengthwise, through the narrow side, so the halved potato lies flat. Carefully scoop flesh from each potato half into medium bowl, leaving 1/4-inch thickness of flesh in each shell. Mash potato flesh until smooth, then stir in 1/2 cup cheddar, sour cream, milk, mustard, cooked onion mixture, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Spoon mixture into potato shells, mounding it slightly at center. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar.

Bake potatoes on middle rack until shells are crisp and cheese is melted and spotty brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

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