From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Dressing Up Vegetables
Twice-baked potatoes are not difficult to make, but the process can be time-consuming, and too many versions of this dish feature rubbery, chewy skins filled with pasty, bland fillings. We wanted to perfect the process—from baking the potatoes and readying the shells to preparing the filling and finishing the potatoes in the oven—and have twice-baked potatoes with slightly crisp, chewy skins and a rich, creamy filling.
We had a head start, having already perfected a recipe for baked potatoes. Starting there, we oiled the potatoes before baking for a crisp skin, and we let the baked potatoes cool slightly before slicing them open and removing the flesh. We found that we could prevent the hollowed-out shells from turning soggy by keeping them in the oven while making the filling. And for the filling we found it best to combine the potato with tangy dairy ingredients—sour cream and buttermilk were ideal—a small amount of butter, and sharp cheddar cheese for its bold flavor. For a perfect finish, we placed the filled potatoes under the broiler, where they turned brown and crisp.
Serves 6 to 8
To vary the flavor a bit, try substituting other types of cheese, such as Gruyère, fontina, or feta, for the cheddar. Yukon gold potatoes, though slightly more moist than our ideal, gave our twice-baked potatoes a buttery flavor and mouthfeel that everyone liked, so we recommend them as a substitution for the russets.