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broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes

i love potatoes. i haven't met a preparation of potatoes i haven't been a huge fan of. my favorite recipe is the best buttermilk mashed potatoes but these twice baked potatoes are now running a very close second. this is most likely due to the fact that i can consider these a meal because of the broccoli.

i have had twice baked potatoes before and they run the risk of being kind of dry - but these are moist, luscious and creamy. the cheddar gives a good sharp bite, the broccoli makes you feel good about eating them and the half and half and sour cream are responsible for keeping them perfectly moist. i added lemon zest for a bit of extra flavor. i love the addition of lemon zest in mashed potatoes so i figured it would work here as well.

the potatoes could be used as a side (1 serving) or a main course (2 servings) with a mixed green salad. i hope you enjoy them as much as i did.

broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
serves 4 as main course or 8 as a side.

4  russet potatoes (7 to 8 ounces each), scrubbed, dried, and rubbed lightly with vegetable oil
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (about 2 cup) - reserve about 1/2 cup for tops
6 cups broccoli - cut into bite size pieces, stems discarded
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 - 1/2 cup half and half - depending on how dry the mixture is.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature
zest on 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper

optional
3 medium scallions , white and green parts sliced thin (about 1/2 cup) - i omitted

broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes

Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes on foil-lined baking sheet until skin is crisp and deep brown and skewer easily pierces flesh, about 1 hour. Setting baking sheet aside, transfer potatoes to wire rack and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

While the potatoes are baking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in skillet for medium heat. Add broccoli and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook - stirring occasionally until lightly browned about two minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Uncover and continue to cook until water evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and stir in lemon juice.

broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes

Cut each potato in half so that blunt sides will rest on work surface. Using a small dinner spoon, scoop flesh from each half into medium bowl, leaving a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness of flesh in each shell. Arrange shells on lined sheet and return to oven until dry and slightly crisped, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mash potato flesh with fork until smooth. Stir in cheddar cheese, broccoli, sour cream, half and half, remaining 2 tbs butter, lemon zest, powdered mustard, salt and pepper, until well combined.

broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes

Remove shells from oven and increase oven setting to broil. Holding shells steady on pan with oven mitt or towel-protected hand, spoon mixture into crisped shells, mounding slightly at the center, and sprinkle the tops with remaining cheese and return to oven.

broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes

broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes

Broil until spotty brown and crisp on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

broccoli and cheddar cheese twice baked potatoes



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