There’s that famous quote from Ecclesiastes that “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
That phrase is especially applicable when it comes to recipes, it seems. Any time I wonder if anyone has actually accomplished some weird idea, a simple Google search tends to find me a recipe to try.
With that said, I’m still regularly surprised with the recipes I find and the ideas people have when it comes to combining ingredients.
The recipe I found this week for French-onion-soup-inspired baked potatoes was one of those. They sounded delicious, and I knew I just had to try it.
This recipe actually ended up being an amalgamation of three different ones as I searched for the flavor profile I was after. First from the blog “12 Tomatoes” by Kristy Norrell at https://12tomatoes.com/french-onion-stuffed-potatoes. Second, from the blog “Simply Recipes” by Elise Bauer at https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/french_onion_soup/. And finally, from the blog “The Cookie Rookie” by Becky Hardin at https://www.thecookierookie.com/cook-perfect-baked-potatoes/.
French Onion Baked Potatoes
- 4 large Russet potatoes
- Olive oil to coat potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 medium yellow onions thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup dry white wine I used pinot grigio
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 10 to 12 ounces gruyere shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- While it preheats, wash your potatoes and prick them all over with a fork. Fill a large bowl with warm water and dump in a healthy amount of salt. Place your potatoes in the bowl to soak.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with foil and placing a baking rack on top.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the potatoes from the water and place them with space between them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the sheet from the oven and carefully brush the potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- When your potatoes are about 20 minutes from being done, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and let them saute, stirring regularly, until they are a deep, golden brown. (This will likely take at least 20 minutes. Be patient.) When the onions are nearly done, add in the garlic, sprinkle in the pinch of sugar and add salt and pepper to taste. Saute for a couple more minutes and then add in the white wine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get up any stuck-on bits.
- Add in the beef stock, bay leaves and thyme, and let the mixture come to a very low boil, stirring regularly.
- Once the liquid is completely reduced, remove the skillet from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
- Cut about one-half inch off the tops of your baked potatoes and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl, being careful to leave just a bit of the potato attached to the skin so it will hold up to being stuffed.
- Smash the potato you scooped into the bowl a bit and then add in a handful of the shredded cheese and all but about 1/2 cup of the onion mixture. Stir it well.
- Scoop the mixture back into the potato shells, and place the filled potatoes on the prepared baking rack from before. Evenly distribute the rest of the onions on the top of the filled potatoes and top with as much cheese as you can balance on top of that. (I highly recommend putting some cheese on the potato tops you cut off earlier and putting those on the sheet, too.)
- Turn the broiler on low and place the potatoes back in the oven, keeping an eye on them. When the cheese is melted, turn the broiler up to high, and once the cheese is browned to your liking, remove the potatoes from the oven and serve.
These were fabulous and filling. You could eat these as a side dish, but I found large enough potatoes that we made a meal out of them. The caramelized onion flavor along with the cheese and potato was a fantastic combination. And even though these take a bit of a time commitment to create, I would say it’s worth it.
I have to admit that combining French onion soup with a twice-baked potato is a new one for me, so maybe there are a few exceptions to that phrase from Ecclesiastes. Of course, I doubt that the biblical author was considering spuds when creating that line.
This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 5, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.