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Salt-Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

  1. 3 tablespoons hazelnuts
  2. 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  3. 2 dozen small red bliss potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  4. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  5. 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  6. 1/2 pound soft goat cheese, at room temperature
  7. 2 tablespoons minced chives
  8. 1 teaspoon minced thyme
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, or until the skins blister. Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub to remove the skins. Finely chop the nuts. Lower the oven temperature to 350°.
  2. Spread the 2 cups of kosher salt on a rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt and the pepper. Spread the potatoes on the salt on the baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes, or until tender when pierced. Let cool slightly, then rub off the excess salt.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the goat cheese, chives, thyme and hazelnuts.
  4. Cut off the tops of the potatoes and scoop out half of the flesh; discard or reserve for another use. Fill the potatoes with the goat cheese and serve warm.

Suggested Pairing

Try these stuffed potatoes with a full-bodied Chardonnay. Look for one from Washington State loaded with minerals and oak to play off the sea salt and herbs.

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