To make these potatoes, pick large, smooth baking potatoes and scrub them well, nice and clean. Bake them in your microwave until they are just done, not shriveled and overcooked. Let them cool for a little while on the counter, until you can handle them easily. Slice off the top third of the potato and begin to gently remove the white potato flesh, leaving a quarter inch of shell with the skin. I think a small teaspoon works best for this operation. Take out little bits at a time, being careful to keep the potato shell intact. If you scrape too close to the skin, the potato will collapse, at which point you will have a potato casserole, as mentioned above!
After you have removed all of the potato and put it into a bowl, add in the good stuff:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
For 2 large potatoes, add 1/3 c. light sour cream, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, 1/3 c. grated cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. melted butter and 1 tsp. minced chives.
Mash everything together, using a hand mixer or an old fashioned potato masher. Be sure to combine everything so that there are no big lumps of potato. You may need to add another T. or so of sour cream, if the mixture seems dry, but you do want it to be thick.
Then, carefully and gently, spoon the potato mixture back into the potato shells. Press it gently into each end first, and then fill 'er up, mounding up over the top of the potato shell. Sprinkle on a little more cheddar cheese, if you wnat to, pressing so that it adheres to the mounded top and sprinkle with paprika, totally optional. My potatoes seemed cheesey enough to me when I made the ones shown below, so I skipped the extra cheddar and just added paprika. Put the potatoes into a baking dish or onto a cookie sheet. I like to use a dish, so that I can be sure that they stand up and won't tip over. Bake them for 30 minutes.
|Twice baked potatoes, ready for the oven|