Every year, I make exactly the same Christmas dinner. I like to keep it super easy so that I can have a relaxed day. I make these potatoes in advance and then just reheat them for dinner. I serve them with a standing rib roast, gravy, and a simple vegetable like glazed carrots or sauteed spinach. I use crab from the seafood counter at my supermarket; it is cooked and packed into plastic tubs and chilled. I always buy the claw meat which is the least expensive. You could go crazy and break the bank by using the lump crab meat but I don’t find much difference in flavor. Always run the crab through your fingers to pick out any tiny bits of shell that are present. I suppose you could substitute canned crab from the tuna fish aisle if you need to.
4 large russet baking potatoes, scrubbed and pricked with a fork
4 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
1/2 – 3/4 cup lactose free milk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1/4 cup minced scallion greens
6 – 8 oz cooked crab meat
salt, pepper, paprika
Preheat oven to 400F. Place whole potatoes on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour, turning over once. Remove potatoes from the oven and let cool enough so that you can handle them. When cool, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the potato into a bowl, leaving a good 1/4 inch potato shell in the skin. Mash the scooped out potato together with the butter and enough of the milk to get a good mashed potato consistency. You don’t want runny potatoes. Stir in the cheese, scallion and crab meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop the potato mixture back into the potato shells. Sprinkle decoratively with paprika. At this point, I cover the potatoes with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Preheat oven to 375F. Unwrap potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. Pop in the oven and bake until thoroughly hot, approximately 30 – 40 minutes if the potatoes started out cold.