April 13, 2011
For awhile now, Juli and I have thought about making twice-baked potatoes. We both like them, but we hadn't had them in years, and had never made them. Juli was particularly interested in having some that were stuffed with crab, as her parents had made in the past. Unfortunately, her parents didn't have an actual recipe they'd used, and her mother was somewhat foggy on how they'd made them years earlier. That being the case, we set about designing our own recipe.
As usual, we started by looking at some of the recipes available online and among our cookbooks. We found a number of twice-baked potato recipes, but relatively fewer crab ones, and there were a fair number of differences between the various recipes. We ended up using a recipe for Crab-Stuffed Potatoes submitted to Allrecipes.com by Ruby Williams as our starting point, then customized that recipe by incorporating some ideas from other Allrecipes member comments, then adding a few touches of our own.
We were really, really pleased with the results. Our potatoes took a little while to make, but most of that was just baking time. The prep was pretty easy. In exchange for fairly minimal effort and a reasonable amount of time, we got rich, savory, cheesy potatoes stuffed with fresh chives and delicious bits of crab meat. They were nicely browned on the outside and moist on the inside, and the skins and potato shells weren't the least bit tough or dried-out. A definite keeper... we'll be making this again, for sure. This recipe would be a great choice for company.
Crab-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
yield = serves 4 (as a meal) or 8 (as a side or appetizer)
4 large baking potatoes
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped, fresh chives
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (6 ounces) lump crab meat, drained
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus extra sprinkled on top
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until a knife slides into the potato with almost no resistance (about 50 minute). Transfer potatoes to a wire rack to cool, then halve potatoes lengthwise. Carefully scoop out most of the potato pulp, leaving a thin (1/4 to 1/8 inch) shell of potato inside the skin. Put the potato pulp in a medium bowl; set potato shells aside.
Add cream cheese, butter, cream, chives, cheddar cheese, crab meat, garlic, salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and cayenne to the bowl with the potato pulp. Mash these ingredients together until semi-smooth.
Stuff shells with the potato mixture, sprinkle with additional paprika and transfer to a broiler pan.
Bake the potatoes at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then switch on the broiler. Broil the potatoes until they are lightly browned on top (about 4 minutes). Remove from oven, let cool a couple minutes, and serve.