They were a little time consuming, but OH SO WORTH IT! In fact, I bet you could even cook the potatoes the night before when you're not on a weeknight time-crunch because I HIGHLY recommend baking these in the oven like Laurie suggested and not in the microwave. It really gave the skins a crunchy outer texture that just added to the other wonderful flavors going on here.
Overall, these potatoes got two thumbs up from everyone in this house and because it made extra servings, we ate them twice that week.
Stuffed Baked Red Potatoes with Basil Pesto (Copycat)
Recipe Adapted from Laurie Bakke's Kitchen
8 to 10 Medium-Sized Red Potatoes-pierced with a fork
1/4 c. 2 % Milk
2 tbsp. Butter
3 tbsp. Basil Pesto
1 tsp. Granulated Garlic
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for brushing inside of shell
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in center oven. Rub potatoes with oil and salt and bake directly on the rack for 30-45 minutes or until tender all the way through when pierced.
2. Remove the potatoes from the oven and prepare the potato shells by first cutting a small piece off of each end from the 8 potatoes. Scoop out the potato from the shell and place in a large bowl.
3. Stand the potato shells up in a muffin tin or oven safe dish, wide side up and brush the inside of the skins with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove and set aside.
4. While the potato skins are in the oven, heat the milk, butter and garlic over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the milk mixture and the pesto to the potatoes and mash with an electric mixer until the potatoes are stiff. To bulk up the filling, add the remaining two potatoes and adjust your seasonings.
5. Finally, spoon potato mixture into shells making sure you stuff them all the way so they will not cave in as they bake. Drizzle each potato with some oil and salt and bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through. Serves 8.
And now for the Giveaway....
Laurie has graciously agreed to give one signed copy of her book, Laurie Bakke's Cookbook: Fresh Recipes from Cafe Laurie, Culinary School and other Great Kitchens, to a Carrie's Experimental Kitchen reader! I know that you will love the book as much as I do and kudos to her husband Paul for creating such a work of art for the covers. Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter and Good Luck!