When we're having guests for dinner, and planning to grill a meat, I love to make Mashed Baked Potatoes as the starchy side. I can make it earlier in the day--even the day before--store in the frig, and then heat in the oven before serving. It's a great way to add lots of flavor to the potato. I also really like the skin of the potato, so this recipe gives you the scrumptious comfort of mashed potatoes, and the nice skin crunch! —Annelle
medium sized baking (russet) potatoes
extra virgin olive oil to rub potatoes
smokey sea salt
butter, plus about 2 more tablespoons for potato shells
or more, if needed, of heavy cream
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste for both potatoes and topping
strips of roasted red pepper, chopped
mayonnaise (Dukes, unless you make your own!))
Pierce each potato a couple of times with the tines of a fork. Drizzle a little olive oil onto each potato, and spread it all over the potato with your hands. Then add about one teaspoon of the smokey flavored salt to the outside of each potato, and press it into the potato with your hands. Place potatoes into oven on a sheet pan, and bake for about an hour, or until you can squeeze them a little and know that they're done all the way through.
While potatoes are baking, make topping: Mix roasted red pepper, mayonnaise, colby cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire, shallots, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
When potatoes are done, remove from oven. Using an oven mitt or dish towel slice each potato in half, and gently scoop the insides into a bowl, leaving a thin layer of potato attached to skin. Place the eight scooped out potato halves into a casserole dish. Add just a small piece of butter to each shell and spread it around.
To bowl of hot potatoes, add 4 tablespoons butter, cream cheese, and sour cream. Whip with hand mixer to combine. Add cream to achieve proper creamy, mashed potato consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon filling back into potato shells.
Spread each potato evenly with about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture. Then sprinkle sharp cheddar evenly over all the potatoes. Can refrigerate at this point. Bring to room temp before final baking.
Just before serving, return the potatoes to a 350 degree oven, and bake until hot all the way through, and cheese has melted.