Kate McDermott's Art of the Pie classes and 2016 James Beard-nominated cookbook have made her a pie-baking celebrity, but her latest book isn't about sweets.

 

The Washington state-based writer shares recipes from the food she serves people who come to stay at her "pie cottage" in the foothills of the Olympic mountains. There are a few desserts and baked goods in the book, but the recipes are mostly savory and just the kind of cozy meals that you, too, would want to eat if you lived in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Her practical recipes for warming dishes such as roasted chicken, lentil soup and these twice-baked potatoes will come in handy in the next few weeks, thanks to the unusually fall-like fall weather we've been experiencing lately.

You can hear from Kate herself at 7 p.m. Monday at the Central Library, where I'll be interviewing Kate for a book signing event that is free and open to the public.

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Mushrooms, Broccoli and Cheese

Baked potato night is a favorite around here. A twice-baked potato takes the simple tuber to new heights. Feel free to adjust the recipe to whatever vegetables you have on hand. Just about anything works when stuffed back into the potato jackets. Add a salad to this simple meal and you’re good to go. Choose potatoes that are similar in size so that the baking time will be the same for each of them. You can easily adjust your fillings to fit the number of potatoes you want to stuff.

— Kate McDermott

4 medium to large baking potatoes such as russets

1/4 cup butter

1 cup small broccoli florets and chopped stems

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 or 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, or a mixture of cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash of paprika

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce each potato in several places with a fork, and place potatoes on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about an hour or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. Take the potatoes out of the oven and turn down the oven to 400 degrees.

Melt half the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat, and cook broccoli for about 5 minutes or until almost tender. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften.

Slice off the top of each potato, scoop out the insides with a spoon, and place in a medium-size bowl. You may want to wrap the potato in a towel if it is really hot so as not to burn your hand. Save the potato shells and tops. Add the remaining butter, and mash with a fork or a potato masher.

To the mashed potatoes, add the sautéed vegetables, bacon (if using), sour cream or yogurt, cheese, salt, and pepper, and mix until everything is well distributed. Refill the potato shells with the mixture. They will be overflowing! If there is extra, pile it carefully on the potato tops. Sprinkle with a little paprika and bake in the oven for 15 minutes more. Serves 4.

 — From "Home Cooking with Kate McDermott" by Kate McDermott (Countryman Press, $29.95)