Want to add a different side dish to your family dinner menu? How about twice baked potatoes with a twist? A twist, you say? How can a simple and tasty side dish like this be any better than it is? What’s the twist?
The twist to this age old recipe is crème fraîche. Crème fraîche is a thick, rich cream. It has a fat content of about 30% and does not contain any added thickeners. I like to spoon it over fresh fruit and to use it as a garnish on soups and on my Quinoa Risotto. It adds a unique flavor that I think you’ll appreciate in these twice-baked potatoes.
4 medium russet potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 ounces crème fraîche
1 tablespoon fresh sage (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (chopped)
2 tablespoons half-and-half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chives (chopped for garnish)
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pierce potatoes in several spots with a fork. Rub oil over potatoes and place directly on rack. Bake for 45 minutes or until very tender. Transfer potatoes from oven to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Cut off the top quarter of the potato using a serrated knife. Using a spoon, scoop out potato, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell; transfer scooped potato to a large bowl. Set scooped out shell aside. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
Mash potatoes in bowl until smooth. Mix in crème fraîche, sage, thyme, half-and-half, and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon potato mixture into prepared shells. Place shells on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chives for garnish.
Tip: Make these the day before your big dinner. Cover, and refrigerate but do not bake. Then bake prepared shells as directed.