Potatoes can optionally be replaced by sweet yams, while stuffing can be made with corn or sweet red pepper.
Baked potatoes, or kartoshka v mundire (mundir is the most formal military uniform, typically worn at ceremonies – Ed.) in Russian, are often used in traditional New Year's dishes like olivier salad and herring under a fur coat.
Ingredients for four servings
Four garlic cloves
Butter – 100 g
Sour cream – Two tablespoons
Four bacon strips
Dill to taste
Hard cheese – 200 g
Green onion – to taste
Salt – to taste
Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Wash and dry potatoes, they should be dry to become browned and crispy. Lubricate each potato with a bit of olive oil and salt and bake them in the oven for an hour or an hour and a half.
Half an hour before potatoes are ready, put unpeeled garlic cloves on the foil, add salt and pepper, a little bit of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap it and place back in the oven.
Meanwhile, chop bacon and fry lightly until golden brown on a well-heated dry frying pan. Set aside for a while.
Take potatoes out from the oven and let them cool. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise using a sharp knife, then gently, being careful not to damage the peel, remove the pulp with a spoon and put it in a large bowl.
Add peeled baked garlic, sour cream, a little bit of olive oil, chopped fresh herbs, roasted bacon, almost all grated cheese (except for five or six tablespoons) in a bowl and mix gently, being careful not to make mash out of it.
Use a tablespoon to stuff each half potato with mixture and put them on a baking sheet, skins down. Turn the oven grill to a high temperature.
Top each potato slice with a pair of very cold butter pieces and sprinkle them with the remaining grated cheese. Put in the oven for seven to ten minutes.
Bake the potatoes until light golden brown. Cool them slightly before serving and sprinkle with a little bit of olive oil.
Tip: Due to its grainy texture, Italian parmesan is the best cheese for this recipe.
Recipe by Peter Golavsky