Twice-Baked Potatoes with Irish Cheddar

I’ve always found these to be crowd pleasers, whether I’m making dinner for a group of friends or for my wife and our three boys. The potatoes are terrific alongside grilled steak or any other meat, and they can be prepared up to a day ahead of time and refrigerated before the second baking. I like Irish Cheddar with them, but any other Cheddar would be delicious, or even feta or goat cheese. Have fun with it!–Rick Tramonto

LC Luck of the Irish Note

Of the many, many reasons why we swoon to these stuffed spuds, one stands out. The fact that they call for Irish Cheddar has quite a lot to do with it. For those unfamiliar with its subtle charms, Irish Cheddar tends to be less tangy than the Cheddar made elsewhere, with faintly sweet notes and, according to Murray’s, one of Manhattan’s finest purveyors of cheese, an “unusually sweet and fruited flavor.” It’s a subtle sweetness that also boasts a little nuttiness as well, sort of like your favorite spinster aunt. Whatever portion doesn’t end up in the potatoes ought to be savored alongside a pint of stout.

Can I Freeze It? Note: Yup. Kim Venglar, one of our trusted LC Recipe Testers, says she “always has twice-baked potatoes in my freezer ready to cook.” So we asked her advice. After you stuff the spuds but before you bake them a second time, she says, toss the stuffed spuds in a resealable plastic bag and freeze ‘em for up to 3 months. You can either defrost the potatoes overnight in the fridge and then bake them at 350°F (176°C) for 45 minutes or so, or you can bake them straight from the freezer at 350°F (176°C) for an hour or so, covering them with foil for the first 45 minutes. Potatoes, pronto!

Oh, and be sure to omit the green onions, Kim notes, as “they do really nasty things in the freezer and give the potatoes a funky flavor.” Yikes. We certainly don’t want that! Instead, she says, sprinkle sliced scallions over the potatoes after taking them out of the oven.

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Irish Cheddar Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes (about 1 pound each)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Irish Cheddar cheese or your favorite Cheddar (about 7 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts (about 2 scallions)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions or chives

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) . Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  • 2. Scrub the potatoes under cold, running water, pat dry, and rub with the olive oil. Pierce each potato several times with a fork and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until fork-tender. If the potatoes are whoppingly large, they may need a little more time.
  • 3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and set aside just until they’re cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
  • 4. Cut each potato lengthwise in half, taking care to keep the skins intact. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skins, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the inside, into a large bowl. Force the potato flesh through a ricer or the medium disk of a food mill, or mash the potato really well with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Add the half-and-half, sour cream, 1 cup of the Cheddar, the scallions, and melted butter and mix gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the potatoes are quite large, you may need to add a touch more half-and-half (and a little more cheese wouldn’t be a terrible thing).
  • 5. Place the empty potato skins on an oiled baking sheet or in a baking dish. Spoon or pipe the potato mixture into the empty potato skin shells. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar and the Parmesan. (At this point, the potatoes can be loosely covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
  • 6. Bake the potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the filling is warmed through. Top each potato half with sour cream and sprinkle with scallions or chives. Serve immediately.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Helen Doberstein] This was a real family favorite. I had 100 grams (I’d guess close to four ounces) of actual Irish Cheddar that made about two cups of shredded cheese. I used an entire bunch of chives, since I couldn’t get to the store for scallions. Following the recipe was easy and the results were very tasty. The filling was a little “rustic,” but no one minded. (This probably had more to do with me than the recipe itself.) This is perfect for weekend cooking due to the long cooking times. I will certainly do this one again, with maybe different cheeses or plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream. The family is already making plans for the next time.

  2. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Kim Venglar] I love Irish Cheddar, so I couldn’t wait to try these potatoes. Irish Cheddar is different from American Cheddar. It has a different texture and flavor. I used Kerrygold Irish Dubliner cheese because it’s my favorite. The recipe is very simple and straightforward, but get your mise en place ready while your potatoes are cooking. I think the dish could have used a little more onion, but that’s a personal preference. One thing I don’t like about the recipe is the vague size of the potatoes. What is a large potato? My potatoes were just under one pound each. You may need to adjust the amount of half-and-half if your potatoes are large. The recipe says it serves four, but none of us could eat more than a half so I would say it serves eight.

  3. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Karen Depp] This is a simple, delicious, and handsome dish! Depending on how big the potatoes are, this could feed twice as many as it indicates, with each person having one half of a potato. The ones I used were gigantic, and half of a potato along with a fresh green salad made a wonderful, easy, delicious dinner. Besides being easy, this recipe is almost intuitive. You can’t get it wrong!

  4. Testers Choice Testers Choice says:

    [Elsa M. Jacobson] Feeling busy? Looking for something richly satisfying? Need a recipe that can be prepared in advance and finished with little effort the next day? Seeking a vegetarian entrée that is tasty, filling, and visually appealing? Look no further than these twice-baked potatoes. I used potatoes that were large—nearly a pound each. Because these were served as an entrée, each diner did, in fact, eat both halves of their potato, with not a leftover peel in sight at meal’s end. My large potatoes took an hour and five minutes to bake to fork-tenderness. Because the cheese, half and half, and butter combination seemed plenty rich, I subbed Greek yogurt for the sour cream, with no discernible loss of richness or flavor. I had covered and refrigerated the assembled potatoes overnight, and this extended my baking time to a full 50 minutes. I did not top with sour cream before serving, but I did top them with scallions. I found that the one tablespoon specified was too skimpy for the potatoes, so I quickly sliced up more. The Irish Cheddar is delicious, but I grated up the full 7 ounces and was left with nearly 2 cups extra cheese. It surely won’t go to waste, but I needn’t have grated up the whole chunk of cheese for this recipe.

  5. Lauralee Hensley says:

    Loving, loving, loving the testers note above about how to freeze them and about leaving the scallions off during the freezing process. This is going to be one of those recipes I definitely triple, so I can freeze some of the potatoes for meals later in the month. Thanks.

    • David Leite says:

      Lauralee, our pleasure. We have more than 125 dedicated, talented, vocal, tough, discriminating testers who put each recipe through its paces. Bravo to them all.

  6. Melissa Pritchett says:

    Oh wow! These turned out great! My hubby loved them! He said it was something he would probably want on the “Repeats Menu,” and that’s sayin’ a lot! He said it was so pretty he had to post the pic on twitter! :D I really enjoyed it, too. I probably could have eaten two. I love how you can make it the day before and then pop it in the oven. Great when I knew a hectic day was comin’ up but I still wanted to have a great dinner prepared. Love your blog! Thanks for posting this!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      You’re quite welcome, Melissa. Music to our ears. Thank YOU for letting us know. Hmmm. Now we’re craving those potatoes again…

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