Yup. Baked potatoes.
They’re delicious and if you don’t like them plain (who does?) they provide a fantastic base for pretty much any kind of topping you desire. I prefer butter, salt, and pepper. Every once in a while I’ll add some real bacon bits. But that’s not why I bring them up. I want to talk about baked potatoes because I never really knew what a good baked potato was like until about a year ago and because the leftovers will be discussed in the next post.
I remember growing up having potatoes that were wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven. I always thought that’s what a baked potato was. In fact, I’d been to numerous restaraunts (even more expensive ones) that served potatoes the same way. Well apparently those kinds of potatoes are technically steamed. Who knew? A baked potato is pretty much just thrown in the oven. Sure, you can do some things (see below) to make them extremely yummy, but the only necessary thing is to put it in the middle of the oven and heat it a while.
Kind of vague, I know, but the great thing about baked potatoes is that you can cook them at any temperature that you are going to be baking other foods at. The lower the temp., the longer it needs to bake and the higher the temp, the shorter amount of time it needs to be done. This is especially nice if you have other foods to cook in the oven. Another great thing about these potatoes is that the skins are crispy and delicious. I never ate a potato skin from a steamed potato, I just didn’t like them. I eat these all the time.
To prepare the most delicious baked potatoes:
- Wash the potatoes thoroughly.
- Stab with a fork a few times (you don’t want the potato to explode in your oven).
- Lightly cover with your choice of oil. (We use canola, but use whatever you have or like best. We have also found that the pump sprayers are wonderful for applying the oil as you get an even spread without wasting a bunch of oil or using too much.)
- Sprinkle to taste with Kosher salt (or any larger grain).
- Bake. (We usually bake around 400 degrees for 35 minutes for a medium size potato. If you want something more specific (not that I think it matters) there are numerous resources online that will give you the temp. and time for the size and number of potatoes you have.)
I know it’s a basic food, but when done well, it can be a great food.