Everyone should have certain go-to recipes that they can make quickly and feed a crowd. I feel it is important to always have a great potato recipe in your bag of tricks, especially for potlucks.
I found mine when I was thirteen.
My uncle’s best friend married a woman named Tara. Tara would bring this recipe to every Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house. I was one of Tara’s bridesmaids when I was thirteen.
I made this recipe for my husband when we first started dating. And continued to do so for the next few months. In fact, this recipe was the basis for our very first fight. Do you want to hear about it or should I get right to the recipe? Oh, you want to see the recipe. Well, just skip this part then. I’m going to tell you anyway:
Sixteen years ago my husband and I were at the grocery store buying the ingredients for this dish. I started to grab eight potatoes. My husband (fiancé at the time) made a grievous error. He decided to question my reasoning.
He understands now that there is no reasoning with me. Because I have no reason.
Or rhyme, as it were.
“It’s just the two of us. Why do we need eight potatoes?”
“Because that is what the recipe calls for.”
“But why can’t we cut the recipe in half?”
“BECAUSE IT DOESN’T SAY TO!” Then I burst into tears and ran from the store. In my defense we learned I was pregnant later that day and so I like to think it was simply the hormones and not a weird irrational need to bake eight potatoes.
After that fight, I stubbornly never made this dish again until this month.
Sixteen years really isn’t so long.
At least in potato years.
Every marriage should be measured in potato years.
Let’s just get to the recipe. If you are making this you are going to want to prepare the baked potatoes well in advance of using them. So, time accordingly.
This recipe is so easy. I changed the original recipe just a little. I like it, because you do not have to cut potatoes into small pieces or boil them. And, guess what? In the pictures I halved this recipe. If you are making this for a small family, I recommend doing that. For a crowd, I use the full recipe. Okay. So, he was right. Darn.
8 large baking potatoes
4 Tbsp. Cold Butter
1 16 oz. container of sour cream (2 cups)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 – 2 tsp. salt (I use 1 1/2 tsp. first and then add an extra 1/2 tsp. if it needs it)
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
2 Tbsp. Finely chopped green onions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash potato. Dry potato. Pierce the potato with a fork two times and then wrap it up in foil. Repeat eight times.
Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for seventy five minutes. Once the potatoes are baked (give a slight squeeze, if it gives then it is ready, if not bake the potato a little longer), place the potatoes still in their foil in your refrigerator to cool. Turn off oven. They need to cool for at least three hours, but I often cool them overnight so they are ready the next day.
Take potatoes out of the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove foil and simply peel or cut the skin off of the potato. I just cut off each end and then cut the skin off. This is easy and quick.
Place in your mixing bowl for your stand mixer or in a bowl to beat with your hand mixer.
Beat potatoes on low setting (if you do it higher, potatoes will go everywhere). Add sour cream and beat on low for thirty seconds and then turn to medium speed. Add salt, pepper, chives, cheese and green onions. Beat for a few minutes until potatoes are broken down and all of the ingredients are incorporated. There will still be small chunks of potatoes, but not large ones.
Pour potato mixture into a baking dish and smooth so it is even. Cut butter into small pieces.
Dot the top of the potatoes with the butter.
Place uncovered in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are bubbling.
Serve the potatoes.
And store marriage in a cool, dark place until ready to handle again.