Twice Baked Cheese & Chive Potatoes

Makes 10 halves
Inspired by Sophie Dahl

These twice baked potatoes are very versatile. If you don’t have crème fraîche, simply use sour cream, instead; I suspect yogurt might work well, too. Just add a couple tablespoons or so of butter if you’re using either sour cream or yogurt.

I added around 3 ½ ounces (100g) of cheese to the potato filling; I didn’t want the cheeses to be too over-powering, but feel free to add up to 7 ounces (200g) of whatever cheese(s) you decide to use. Parmigiano-Reggiano, Goats’ Cheese, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Stilton / any blue cheese (maybe use Rosemary or an other herb, instead?) are just a handful of types that would work well. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re short on patience or time, you can “bake” the potatoes in the microwave (I think around ten minutes will do; be sure to poke them with the tines of a fork- you don’t want exploding potatoes), then finish them off in the oven.

5 baking potatoes, scrubbed clean
¼ cup / 60g crème fraîche
Handful of chopped chives (about ¼ cup / 4 tablespoons)
1.75 oz / 50g Pecorino Romano
.9 oz/ 25g Parmigiano-Reggiano
.9 oz/ 25g Gruyère
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 375F/ 190C/ Gas Mark 5.

Place the potatoes directly on a sheet of aluminum foil directly on the wire rack of the oven. Bake for 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours until the skins are golden brown and crisp on the outside, and they give a little when they are gently squeezed.

Take the spuds out of the oven, and using a clean tea towel, split each in half. Scoop the fluffy flesh into a large bowl. Dollop in the crème fraîche, chives, and cheese. Season with salt & pepper to taste, then stir in the beaten egg.

Spoon the potato mixture back into the skins. Put on a baking tray in the oven for about 18 minutes, or until the herb-freckled mixture is beautifully tanned and slightly crisp on top.

Serve with dollops of crème fraîche, salt & pepper. Enjoy!

Note: Will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator in a covered container.