Baked Potatoes

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Fellow blogger and brand new mom Julieann asked, “How do you make your baked potatoes?”

Yes, we are heading way back into the archives, blowing off the dust, and freshening up an old post. Baked potatoes are a favorite around Home-Ec 101. Why? Well, we’re heading back to the basics in the kitchen and baked potatoes are about as basic as you get. Yet, they still can make a great side or a standalone meal when you just don’t feel like putting in a lot of work.

First, turn your oven, or toaster oven if you’re only cooking one or two, on to 400℉.

Then give your potatoes a quick, thorough scrub in the sink.

Give them a good look over and use a paring knife to remove any small eyes or blemishes.

Place your potatoes on a baking sheet.

Give each potato a quick poke with a fork.

Then brush your potatoes with a thin layer of olive oil and then give them a good sprinkling of kosher salt. (The oil helps the salt stick to the potato. Science.)

Baked potatoes brushed with olive oil

Then into the oven, the potatoes go. Where they will bake at 400℉ for one hour.

Extremely large potatoes may take longer, small ones may be done more quickly, check by poking with a fork or squeezing. Please use a tea or dish towel if you have tender fingers.

That’s the easy part, right?

Baked Potatoes and Toppings

Now comes the difficult part choosing how to top your steaming hot potato. Above, we’ve got:

Your classic, sour cream and bacon, shredded cheese, sour cream, and green onions, continuing clockwise, we’ve got a chili cheese potato with sour cream and chives. Finally, one of my favorites is to steam broccoli and use a cheese sauce. It’s nice and easy and great for those nights when you’re trying to go meatless.

What cheese sauce you ask? Well, you can go with this basic cheese sauce, which is based on a quick roux, if you are working alone. OR if you have “helpers” let me introduce you to my latest secret weapon. I currently have a very picky pre-schooler who only wants to subsist on Kraft mac and always “WANTS TO HELP” and sometimes I just cannot. Give this stuff a try: Hoosier Hill’s Big Daddy Mac Mix. Hand the kid 1/3 cup of the mix + 1/3 cup of milk in a jar with a TIGHT lid and let them shake the heck out of it while you melt 4 TBSP of butter. Pro-Tip go ahead and write that ratio down, the writing on the jar is not made for human eyes: 1/3 cup mix, 1/3 cup milk, and 4TBSP butter.

Our British friends, I’m told love baked beans on their potatoes, but maybe someone is pulling my leg.

Whatever you choose, take a butter knife and slit the potato lengthwise nearly to the bottom, but not quite. You want the skin on the bottom to keep any runny toppings from escaping. Then squeeze each end toward the center to force the slit you just created to open. Fill your potato with the toppings of your choice, admire your handiwork, and dig in.

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4 thoughts on “Baked Potatoes”

  1. That is my favorite way to make them too. The other way I like is just popping them in the slow cooker. You don’t get the crispy skins like you do in the oven, but it also doesn’t get your kitchen hot 🙂

    Reply
  2. Now that grilling season has started for me (DST being the key) I will start baked potatoes in the microwave and finish the on the grill. The grill crisps up the skins nicely.

    Reply

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