Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a skewer or a thin-bladed knife to poke a hole or two in each potato. Place them in the oven and bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until you can easily poke a thin-bladed knife into them.
While the potatoes are baking, slice the shallots as thinly as possible. In a small skillet, add enough oil to reach a depth of about 1/8 inch and turn the heat to medium high. After about 2 minutes, add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until they brown, about 5 minutes. It may not take that long, so watch carefully; once they brown, they'll do so quickly. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel; sprinkle them with salt. (You can also do this several hours in advance.)
(Mark Finkenstaedt For The Washington Post)
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When potatoes are done baking, cut each in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about a 1/4 inch around the shell. In a large skillet on low heat, add the potato flesh and milk and stir. Then add the butter, vermouth and mustard and stir until the butter melts. Season to taste.
Spoon the mixture into the potato shells. Top with shallots and serve immediately.
Per serving: 161 calories, 3 gm protein, 17 gm carbohydrates, 9 gm fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 168 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber
BAKED POTATOES ALIGOTE
2 large baking potatoes (Idaho or Russet), scrubbed
1/4 cup warm milk (preferably whole)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces Tomme, Raclette, Gruyere or similar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Minced chives for garnish