Published January 1, 1999.
Double bake the potato shells, choose the right dairy for the filling, and finish under the broiler to make this common side dish even better.
Too many versions of this dish feature rubbery, chewy skins filled with pasty, bland fillings.
The twice baked potato may be the very apex of potato cookery. Done well, the skin is chewy and substantial without being tough, having just a hint of crispness to play off the smooth, creamy filling. The filling, meanwhile, should be rich and tangy, a contrast with the mild, slightly sweet potato shell.
We had a head start, having already developed a recipe for the Best Baked Potato (September/October 1995). Starting there, we let the baked potatoes cool slightly before slicing them open and removing the flesh. We found that we could keep the skins from turning soggy and flabby by keeping them in the oven while making the filling. And for the filling we found it best to combine the potato with a tangy dairy ingredient like sour cream or yogurt, a small amount of butter, and ingredients with strong flavors like cheddar cheese, bacon, or chipotle peppers. For a perfect finish, we placed the filled potatoes under the broiler, where they turned brown and crisp.list of recipes