- 4 (12-ounce) russet potatoes
- Canola, vegetable, or olive oil, for rubbing
- 1/3 cup sour cream, plus more for topping, if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup refried beans
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups cheese sauce (see notes)
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1/2 ripe Hass avocado, halved, pitted, flesh scooped from skin, and cubed
- If Using Only the Oven: Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a fork or paring knife, puncture potatoes in several spots. Rub each potato with a light coating of oil. Arrange on a rack set on a baking sheet, or directly on an oven rack, and bake until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of each potato, about 1 hour. If setting potatoes directly on oven rack, set a sheet of foil on the rack below to catch any oil drips.
- If Using the Microwave and Oven: Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Using a fork or paring knife, puncture potatoes in several spots. Microwave potatoes for 5 minutes. Rub each potato with a light coat of oil. Arrange on a rack set on a baking sheet, or directly on an oven rack, and bake until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of each potato, about 20 minutes. If setting potatoes directly on oven rack, set a sheet of foil on the rack below to catch any oil drips.
- Let potatoes rest 5 minutes. Slice each open lengthwise and carefully scoop flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash the potato flesh with the sour cream, cumin, and chili powder. Gently stir in the refried beans until well-combined.
- Scoop mashed potatoes back into skins. (You can refill each skin, making 4 smaller potatoes, or use all the mashed potato to refill only half the skins, making 2 overstuffed potatoes.) Using your hands, reshape each stuffed potato back into a classic baked-potato shape. Pour over the cheese sauce, then top with pico de gallo, avocado, and sour cream, as desired. Serve immediately.
To make homemade cheese sauce, toss 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese with a tablespoon of cornstarch, then add it to a saucepan with 1 cup of evaporated milk and a splash of hot sauce, if desired. Cook on low and stir until completely melted and smooth. (Cheese Sauce recipe from Serious Eats.)