Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
7 large russet potatoes (about 12 ounces each), scrubbed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , 3 tablespoons melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (5.2-ounce) package Boursin cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon pepper
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Prick potatoes all over with fork, place on paper towel, and microwave on high until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, turning potatoes over after 10 minutes.
2. Slice and remove top quarter of each potato, let cool 5 minutes, then scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4-inch layer of potato on inside. Discard 1 potato shell. Brush remaining shells inside and out with melted butter and sprinkle interiors with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer potatoes scooped side up to baking sheet fitted with wire rack and bake until skins begin to crisp, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mix half of Boursin and half-and-half in bowl until blended. Cook remaining butter with garlic in saucepan over medium-low heat until garlic is straw-colored, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in Boursin mixture until combined.
4. Set ricer or food mill over medium bowl and press or mill potatoes into bowl. Gently fold in warm Boursin mixture, 3 tablespoons chives, remaining salt, and pepper until well incorporated. Remove potato shells from oven and fill with potato-cheese mixture. Top with remaining crumbled Boursin and bake until tops of potatoes are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve.
When we precooked the potatoes in the microwave, they werenâ€™t as fluffy as when we baked them in the oven. But the microwave shaved an hour off the cooking time, and the differences disappeared after we added the cheese and butter.
Most baked stuffed potato recipes cut the potato in half, but we preferred to lop off just the top quarter of the potato and then hollow it out. Prepared this way, the potato shells held more filling.
After hollowing out the potatoes, there wasnâ€™t enough stuffing to fill each potato and mound on top. We cooked an extra potato and used its flesh to top off the others.