Winter Light and the Ultimate Comfort Food: Twice Baked Potatoes

Kite Hill- Ancram, New York

The days are short and the late afternoon sun slips quickly into darkness. I have a break from teaching with just enough time to take a walk at nearby Kite Hill in Ancram, New York. The light is beautiful with rich shades of brown and dark blue clouds; the cold air is brisk and invigorating.

Kite Hill: Ancram, New York

All to soon, the light starts to fade. I anticipate returning home after teaching to make a fire in the wood stove and sit with a cup of hot tea while I think about what to make for a quick dinner. Comfort food comes to mind- maybe baked double stuffed potatoes. This could turn into one of my favorite dinners that we call “German Night”; assembled with whatever ingredients are in the freezer or refrigerator. This evening’s feast includes sauteed apples spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and allspice, stone ground German mustard with organic chicken/mushroom sausages, Hosta Hill spicy Crimson Sauerkraut and twice baked potatoes.

Potatoes are baked in a hot oven until the skin is crisp and the insides are soft. I scoop out middle of the potatoes and usually mash the mixture with butter and milk. I decided to try a less rich method using extra virgin olive oil, kefir and plenty of salt and pepper. This gave the mixture a tangy rich taste. Topped off with grated parmesan cheese and baked until the cheese is melted and browned, they are the perfect comfort food to eat in front of a hot fire!

Baked Double Stuffed Potatoes

This really is a no-recipe dish. I usually make 2 potatoes, but you can make as many as you want.

Pre heat the oven to 375 Degrees.

Rinse off potatoes and make a few slashes with a sharp paring knife in each potato.

Bake about an hour until the skin is crisp and the inside of the potatoes are very soft.

Cut around the circumference of the potatoes, scoop out the middles and place in a medium pot. Pour in a few glugs of olive oil and enough kefir so that when you mash the mixture you get a soft filling. You could also use yogurt or buttermilk. You can’t go wrong here- any amount of oil or kefir will make a delicious filling. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place filling into potato shells and sprinkle tops with plenty of grated parmesan. Bake in oven about 30-35 minutes. The potatoes should be steaming hot and the parmesan will be brown and crispy. ENJOY!!

At this time of the year, I often take stock of how fortunate we are in our neck of the woods and I am so grateful that music and art is such an important part of my life. When I look at the sweet earnest faces of the members of my Recorder Ensemble from Hofstra University before a recent concert, all of this is brought home to me!

Hofstra University Recorder Ensemble

AND: Here is the “Tree of the Week”

“I may have eaten too many baked stuffed potatoes!”

Best Wishes for Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Lime Kiln Preserve: Sheffield, MA

Author: Judith Dansker

Professional oboist and chamber musician- member of Hevreh Ensemble and Winds in the Wilderness, Professor of Oboe Hofstra University; observer of people, art and nature; passionate food and travel explorer.

10 thoughts on “Winter Light and the Ultimate Comfort Food: Twice Baked Potatoes”

  1. What another perfectly lovely note and exquisite photos from you, Judith! Thank you very much!

    Know you are enjoying this little break from teaching and happy you are putting it to such good use. Twice baked potatoes are a very good idea to keep in mind!

    Hope you and Paul and all your family have a wonderful end to the year and start for the new one to come!

    All best,

    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments! I am so glad that you enjoyed everything! All Best Wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year! Judith

      Like

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