I wish I had founded Idaho – what a cool story to tell your grandkids.
Potatoes are the very reason I lasted all of 2 hours when testing the waters of the Paleo diet. It just kind of hit me, “No potatoes? No way. I’m out.” Never looked back.
I can understand the argument of not wanting to heat up your kitchen. I can also see nuking them if time is an issue. If (at 4:30) you decide you want a baked potato with supper (at 5:00), you don’t have a choice… unless, of course, it’s the world’s skinniest and smallest potato – then you might have a shot.
Again, at the risk of ruffling feathers (What’s with me today? Girl, hands off people’s feathers.), if you wrap your potatoes in foil, you are actually “steaming” them more than you are “baking” them. If you prefer them that particular way – go for it! However, next time, try baking them (without wrapping them in foil blankets) and see what you think about the texture of a truly baked potato.
Salt-Crusted Baked Potatoes
While a good old-fashioned baked potato (without a “salty’ attitude) is all kinds of delicious, adding a salty crust somehow makes it extraordinary. It looks fancy and high-brow too, which never turns me off.
The following recipe (below the beauty on the St. Louis Cardinals red plate) is for “Salt-Crusted Baked Potatoes with Kosher Salt.” This version of a salt-crusted potato calls for an all-over salty crust (trust me, it does not taste too salty – you just wouldn’t want to add any more to the top – unless you’re one of those rare birds that don’t eat the potato skin, that is). If you still (even after my multiple pleadings) think this is too much salt, simply only salt one part of the potato.
* Whispers in your ear: “It will not be too salty.”
I often use another means of coating the potato with salt which involves coarse Kosher salt (I use Morton Coarse Kosher Salt)- and trust me, it looks gorgeous. You don’t add as much salt to a sea salt-crusted baked potato. In fact, when making baked potatoes with coarse sea salt, I don’t rub them in the salt, I simply pat it on – pushing in very lightly.
- Real butter – always, always, always use real butter (in just about everything actually, but especially with a baked potato.. it wouldn’t deserve any less).
- Sour Cream.
- Shredded Cheddar (Gouda is also out of this world).
- BACON. BAAAAY-CON! If you know you’re having baked potatoes for supper, make extra bacon at breakfast. Otherwise, just fry some up while the potatoes are cooking.
- Chives or chopped green onions.
- Sauteed mushrooms are also great on loaded baked potatoes. Saute’ sliced mushrooms in a little butter and add them with the other ingredients.
- Briefly sauteed broccoli (in butter) is also great on a really cheesy baked potato.
One more tip from the potato fiend: Save any leftover baked potatoes for the next day. Leftover potatoes is main reason I only prepare (as in cut open and butter it to distraction) potatoes as they go right onto the plate. Others are left untouched on the stove. The following morning, a leftover baked potato can be warmed and topped with butter, a fried egg, and bacon for a fantastic breakfast or brunch. If several are leftover, scoop out the flesh and mash it with a little butter and sour cream. Fill the potato skin with the mixture, top with shredded cheddar and bake at 350 degrees until warm all the way through. Top as desired (bacon, green onions or chives, black pepper….)
One more idea and I promise I’m through – Sloppy Joes on an open baked potato. Trust me.
Okay, the potato fanatic is through.