I think another reason why they are so perfectly fluffy is this:
If you don’t already own a potato ricer, I highly recommend getting one. It makes the potatoes extra fluffy and eliminates all lumps. Also, if you are making these or even just mashed potatoes for a crowd, a mixer is not necessary. Just get yourself a large bowl and mix all of the ingredients together with a spoon, or even a hand mixer.
Once your potatoes have baked, make a small opening on the top of each one, like this:
I know there are those who would prefer to cut them in half equally and that’s fine, too. This is the traditional method in my family, so I’m sticking to it. With a teaspoon, scoop out as much of the baked potato flesh you possibly can without tearing the skin, scoop it into the ricer and mash away! It’s okay if you tear some of the potatoes. Just “glue” it back together once you have restuffed the potato.
The potatoes will come out looking like little grains of rice.
And there you have it. Continue with the recipe I have provided for you here and I promise that you will not be disappointed. I would not dare to intrude on anyone’s traditional family Thanksgiving recipes, so feel free to try these for Sunday dinner sometime! They are not intended to be consumed simply once a year!
- 10 medium size baking potatoes (like Russet)
- 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil for potato skins
- 1 cup salted butter, cubed
- 1 cup whole milk or half and half, warmed
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash and dry potatoes. Using the 4 tablespoons softened butter, brush (or with your clean hands, rub) the potatoes with the butter or olive oil, if you prefer. If you have leftover butter, add it to the potatoes.
- Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, making sure they are soft when you poke them with a fork.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add 1 stick of butter, the shredded cheese, parsley flakes and salt and pepper.
- When potatoes are done and using a kitchen towel to hold hot potatoes, slice a hole on the top of each one, and scoop the hot potato flesh into the potato ricer. If you don't have one, scoop the potatoes into an electric mixer, using the whipping attachment. The potatoes should be hot enough to melt the butter and cheese.
- Warm the ¾ cup milk in the microwave for abut 1 minute. While mixing the potatoes, slowly add the milk until it is of a desired consistency. The consistency should be firm enough to stuff back into the potato. Add more or less milk--you be the judge.
- Taste for salt and pepper and adjust to your liking.
- Using the remaining ¼ cup of butter, cut the butter into cubes and dot the top of each potato.
- Place the potatoes under the broiler for about 5-7 minutes until the butter has melted and created a golden crust. Keep a watch on them. Depending on how far away the flame is on your broiler, it may take more or less time.
- Return them to the oven to keep warm, or you can make these a day ahead, keeping them refrigerated before topping them with the butter and placing them in the broiler.
Et cetera: I hate to admit it, but these are the REAL reason everyone shows up for Thanksgiving. Not the turkey, not the trimmings, not the company, although all of those other reasons are also valid, but if there are not at least 2-3 twice-baked potatoes for each of the hefty men and teenagers at the Thanksgiving table, the tackling will not only be in the football game on the television. I know we would definitely have a mutiny on our hands and someone would be made to walk the plank! When I mentioned to Number One Son that I made just three of these to feature in my blog and was not able to get one to him, I saw a flash of Gollum in his face when he is being denied his “precious” golden ring. It was scary.