It seems like every year I have an internal struggle to come up with “football” food. As if we throw a lot of football watching parties. We did have one last year and I made those chicken drummettes that I still think were pretty great. And although we haven’t been doing much in the way of entertaining recently, I still feel the need to have food that feels like football season for our Saturday evenings at home with all manner of football games on. (Which, by the way, I am doing horribly this year in College Football Pick ’em and it is pretty disappointing after my nail biting defeat, well second place win, last year.)
And even though football food can mean any number of things, from burgers to pizza, from the racks of ribs we had at our last tailgate to the soups I think we’ll be having at our next one, what I really want when it comes to a Saturday evening watching games at home is potatoes. And as much as I love baked potatoes (really, always a win for a dinner for anyone I think because it’s bland food plus pick-your-own-toppings), I’ve never actually made twice baked potatoes despite having enjoyed them at many a family dinner, so I figured it’s time.
What I love about the recipe I stumbled upon (through piecing together a lot of different opinions about what makes an appropriate twice baked potato) is the amount of sour cream that I included. I am not generally a fan of sour cream. I actually think it’s kind of gross and whenever I have to measure some out for cake batters or these potatoes I find myself scrunching my nose up. And while it’s necessary I think in twice baked potatoes, for that creaminess and a bit of tang, you don’t have to include as much as I always thought. You can have the same effect without having to take a bite and think, wow, there’s some sour cream in there.
And then there is the cheese, melted throughout and bubbly and almost crunchy on top. Grate it yourself for extra deliciousness (that pre-grated stuff hardly seems like the same thing, especially once you’re actually melting the cheese). And feel free to mix in other stuff, from bacon to vegetables. But all I need is something simple and warm and comforting for my favorite evenings of fall.
Twice Baked Potatoes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
4 medium sized russet baking potatoes
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup freshly grated Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the potatoes on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are cooked through and tender when you squeeze their centers.
3. Let the potatoes cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, and scoop the pulp out of each potato and into a medium-sized bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch border of potato in the skin.
4. To the potato pulp add the sour cream, butter, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Mix well, until the mixture is smooth. Then scoop the mixture back into the potato skins, packing it down and filling each potato half completely. Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese.
5. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 20 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve warm.