Why have a baked potato when you have a TWICE a baked potato? There is so much more to love about a twice baked spud- they are delicious, decadent, make ahead and freezer friendly. Sorry, baked potato, I like you but these double bakers are my true amor. The typical twice baked potato is a mash up (literally) of the following ingredients: potato, sour cream, butter, chives/scallions, bacon and cheddar. Sometimes (all times) I like them hot with a little jalapeño! Of course, the usual suspect is delicious, but I’m always game for tweaking the classics and decided to put a slightly Spanish spin on these twice baked papas. Manchego, smoked paprika and roasted poblano pepper tango together here for luscious side dish that is anything but boring!
You want to start by selecting medium russet potatoes- keep them similar in size so that they all cook evenly. One of my favorite parts of the potato is the skin, but I feel like it gets ignored in most baked potato recipes, disregarded as simply a vessel for filling rather than a delicacy to be devoured once the filling is gone!! For a delicious skin, skip the foil wrap and rub the russets with olive oil and coarse salt to enhance crispness and flavor. Also, don’t forget to pierce the potatoes evenly all over with the tines of a fork before baking- no one wants to clean up the aftermath of a potato explosion in their oven.
Baking a potato will depend on your particular oven and the size of the spuds you’ve selected, so check them at the 1 hour mark and be patient with them if they aren’t quite tender yet- they may need an extra 10-20 minutes to get to the point of optimal doneness. Insert a knife in the center of each and if there is absolutely no give, they are ready!
You can use this recipe as a formula and swap in other ingredients/flavor profiles if you like, but it’s hard to say no to the ones listed below. Manchego is one of my favorite cheeses on a cheese board, but it’s a makes an excellent melting cheese in potato dishes as well. If you have cheddar or gruyere, those would work beautifully too! Jamon Serrano could be subbed with prosciutto, bacon or another ham. And if you can’t find poblanos or don’t want to mess with broiling and peeling them, 2 small cans of drained mild green chilies make a nice alternative.
Another reason to love these potatoes is that they are make ahead and freezer friendly, just leave the final sprinkle of cheese off the top until right before baking. Even when I’m just cooking for myself and tobin, I go ahead and make all 6 so that I have extra to stash in my freezer for another day. I just thaw them fully before proceeding with baking, adding a few extra minutes to cook from cold. These are the ultimate sides for a steak but they partner up well with just about anything. Olé make them today!
prep time: 75 min. (includes baking potatoes) cook time: 20-25 min. serves: 6
6 medium baking potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 cups grated manchego cheese, divided
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 oz thin sliced Serrano ham, diced
1 large poblano pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°. Scrub the potatoes well, pat them dry and pierce each one all over with a fork. Place them on a foil lined baking sheet and rub to coat evenly with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-1/2 tsp salt. Bake them for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 min, or until they are easily pierced all the way through with a knife. Remove them from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Change the oven function to broil and place the poblano pepper on another foil lined sheet pan. Broil the pepper on an upper rack about 10 minutes total, flipping halfway, until the skin is fully blistered and blackened. Remove the poblano from the oven and place it in a glass bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the pepper steam 10 minutes (this can also be done in a paper bag rolled up shut). Remove the pepper from the bowl, peel off and discard all the charred skin, remove and discard the stem, membranes and seeds, and chop it into small pieces.
Lower the oven to 375°. While the potatoes are still warm but cool enough to handle, use a knife to slice off the top 1/2” or so of each. Scoop all the insides of the potatoes into a large bowl, getting as much as you can out while still leaving the skin intact to make six hollow “boats”. Into the bowl with the potatoes, add the diced poblano, Serrano ham, butter, milk, sour cream, paprika, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, scallions, and 1 cup of the manchego. Use a potato masher to mash and combine. Check for seasoning.
Distribute the filling evenly into the potato skins, mounding it up so that they are a bit over stuffed and arrange them in a baking dish to fit. Sprinkle the tops of the potatoes evenly with the remaining manchego cheese. Bake the potatoes at 375° on a middle rack for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned and the filling is hot. Serve warm. *The potatoes can be assembled before adding the cheese on top and refrigerated for up to 2 days. They can also be wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen at this point for up to 3 months. To proceed with the recipe simply thaw the potatoes if frozen, sprinkle the last of the cheese on top and bake as directed, adding more time as needed to cook from cold.