Being from Northern Maine, Aroostook County to be exact. I have come to know a lot about potatoes! I grew up with them being a staple of our diet, and the farming of them is literally a part of the Aroostook County culture (we even got 3 weeks off of school in the fall for “Harvest Break”) It’s a well-loved tradition that at its root, provides a livelihood for countless families. Needless to say, we do potatoes a lot, and we do them a lot of ways! I must say, a plain old baked potato is probably one of my favorite foods. Every now and then though it is fun to dress it up a little, this recipe for twice baked potatoes is sooooo delicious and easy! Pair with a green salad for a quick and simple weeknight meal. Enjoy
You will need:
- About 5 Large Ruset Potatoes *Important! See my note below
- 2 Tbsp dry ranch seasoning – get my DIY recipe here, or buy a store bought packet
- 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt – you can substitute sour cream
- Grated Cheese for topping
- Fresh Chives for topping
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F
- Scrub potato skin with a vegetable brush under running water
- using a knife, poke several holes in each potato
- place in preheated oven, right on the racks. Check after 45 minutes, potatoes should have crispy skins and soft when you stick a fork in.
- Allow to cool until manageable
- Cut each potato in half length-wise
- Scoop cooked potato into a large bowl, save the shells!
- Add ranch seasoning and greek yogurt and mix
- Scoop potato mixture back into shells, I use a large cast iron skillet for the second bake but you can also use a cookie sheet or casserole dish.
- Top with grated cheese
- Reduce heat to 350, cook for 10-15 minutes
- top with fresh cut chives!
* Why Russet Potatoes?
They are a high starch potato. High-starch potatoes have a light, mealy texture. They’re best for baking, mashing, and french-frying. According to food scientist Harold McGee, the cells of a high-starch potato separate when cooked. That means fluffy baked potatoes and mashed potatoes that readily soak up milk and butter and hold plenty of air when whipped! See! I told you this was important!
My favorite part of this whole meal? THE SKINS! I love to slap a little more greek yogurt on and eat the skins last! Super good and vitamin packed!
“One whole baked potato has 66 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-6, 31 percent of vitamin C and 19 percent of thiamin. The flesh contributes 60 to 70 percent of the total amount of all three. You’ll get 23 percent of the daily intake of niacin, but the skin and flesh provide equal amounts. All of the B vitamins activate enzymes that participate in metabolism and energy production. Niacin also lowers cholesterol, and vitamin B-6 helps synthesize serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep and appetite. As an antioxidant, vitamin C inhibits inflammation and prevents cellular damage by neutralizing free radicals.” – http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/