Twice-baked potatoes are really great treat when you've got the time to prepare them. They combine the best parts (IMO) of regular baked potatoes and mashed potatoes.
3-5 baking potatoes
1 cup of sour cream
1.5 cups shredded cheese
chives or scallions
salt, pepper, paprika
Large Mixing Bowl
Baking dish or tray
You don't have to pick potatoes that are as large as this- in fact I recommend medium-sized potatoes as the best fit for this recipe. But this was what the store had so this is what I'm going with.
Anyway, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the potatoes with a little cold water. Then, using a fork, poke about 8-10 sets of holes in each potato, about 1/2 inch deep and all around.
When the oven is hot, put the potatoes right in and bake for about 1 hour. If the potatoes are small you might be able to pull them out a few minutes early, if they are really large like this they might need a little longer.
I normally judge how done a potato is by feel- which I really can't describe in words. If you're not sure they're done, stick a knife in the fattest part. If it sticks at all, they need more time.
Also, those holes we poked in the potatoes earlier? They are to let the steam out. If you don't poke enough or make them deep enough, your potato might burst, like this one did. It's not pretty any more, but often times you can still salvage it.
Let the potatoes cool for about 20-30 minutes, until you can pick them up with your bare hands. Next, carefully cut the top off each potato. I find the easiest way to do this is to just hold the potato in my off hand and help guide it around the knife- if you're worried about stabbing yourself though, keep it on the cutting board and just rotate it to keep the same angle.
Use the spoon to scrape out the insides of all the potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Don't forget any potato left in the tops or from one that burst.
You don't need to get all the way down to the skin- leaving a little potato behind keeps you from making any holes (not that it's a big deal if you do). Now you should have a bowl full of baked potato and several empty shells.
Now we prepare the filling. If chives are in season, I'll use those. If not, I'll just go with the green-tips of some finely chopped scallions. The bottom (the white, root-end) of the scallions can also be sliced up and basically fried like onions or put in soup.
Add the sour-cream,the scallions, and 1 cup of the grated cheese (I usually use cheddar) to the potatoes. Keep about 1/2 cup of the cheese separate for the moment.
You can also add other things if you'd like, such as a few pats of butter, a dash of salt, fresh ground black pepper- I've even seen some people throw in bacon-bits. I like to add a tablespoon or two of paprika, which gives the whole think a slightly pinkish hue.
Then, mix well. I forgot to take a picture of it after I mixed everything together, so you get two pictures of it unmixed instead :P
Stuff the filling back into the potato skin. Try to make them as full as possible without splitting the skins. I took the potato that had burst and filled both halves of that as well. If there's any left over you can either pile it on the tops you cut off, too, or just eat it.
Reheat the oven to 375. Put the filled potato skins in a baking dish and sprinkle the extra grated cheese on top.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until all the cheese has melted.
In my family, these are usually a "special occasion" type of food because of all the extra work. That's good though, because if we're doing a roast-anything then we'll also have gravy to pour all over these potatoes which makes them extra-decadent.