3largebaking potatoesabout 1 pound each, scrubbed and dried
olive oilfor coating the skins
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
3tablespoonsbutterideally at room temperature
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6ouncesshredded sharp cheddar cheesedivided
1/2cupsour creamplus more for topping (optional)
2tablespoonsminced fresh chivesplus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Rub potatoes all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake until tender, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
Peel one of the potatoes completely and add pulp to a large bowl. Carefully cut remaining two potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving about 1/4-inch of pulp in the skin for structure, and add to bowl. Transfer hollowed out potato halves to baking sheet.
Add butter, salt and pepper to potato pulp; mash until smooth with a handheld masher. Add about 4 ounces of the cheese, sour cream and chives and mash until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into potato halves; sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until filling is heated through and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Serve hot topped with more sour cream and chives if desired.
Emeril includes bacon in his version. If you'd like to do the same, cook up a couple of slices until crisp. Crumble and add along with the cheese etc.
Note that total time does not include the potatoes sitting until they're cool enough to handle.