I remember the first time I helped my Aunt Anna Marie makes these richly flavorful potatoes. I was a young girl and she was having a large family party for one hundred people and she gave me the job of making the baked stuffed potatoes. Aunt Anna Marie was a wonderful cook, she used no recipes just cooking by experience and instinct.
Aunt Anna Marie was an Italian war bride so following Italian tradition we cooked in her basement kitchen since the main kitchen immaculately perfect and was never used; just for show. As she busied herself preparing the more important entrees occasionally she would check my progress with the potatoes instructing me to add a little of this, a pinch of that. I loved every minute of cooking with my aunt. And I was one of her favorite helpers.
After I had a home I added Aunt Anna Marie’s baked stuffed potatoes to my repertoire. One Christmas Eve I made her potatoes for my family and continued the tradition throughout the years. Preparing her potatoes for our Christmas eve dinner I am flooded with wonderful back memories of helping my Aunt Anna Marie so many years ago.
four large russet potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/2 cup for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon paprika
Slit potatoes on the side, but not all the way through. Bake potatoes in the microwave on potato setting. Or bake in a 350 F oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool 2 minutes. Slice potatoes in half and gently scoop out the potatoes leaving a little potato attached to the skin. Be careful not to break the skin, leave the potato skin for the shell.
Bake at 350 F for 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown.