One of the most gifted chefs in Napa Valley is Kelley Novak, and this is her recipe. It is an utterly delicious way to begin a dinner party. Kelley uses Asiago cheese, but you can substitute any hard, flavor-packed cheese, such as cheddar, pecorino, dry jack or Reggiano parmesano.

Serves 8

  • 20 tiny red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup aged Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub potatoes with olive oil and roast in the oven until tender when prodded with a fork, about 40 minutes. In a bowl, combine the garlic, mayonnaise, cheese, cayenne and chives. Mix well. When potatoes have cooled to room temperature, using a paring knife, cut a hole in the top of each potato and remove about 1/3 of the potato. Fill the hollow with the garlic-cheese mixture. Can be done to this point up to 24 hours before serving with all food refrigerated.

To serve: Bake in a 350-degree oven until browned on top, about 12 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.