Sunday, November 27, 2011

Perfect Baked Potato

I live in Idaho now, so it is only fair I share my favorite recipe for baked potatoes.  They sure are a cheap way to get some nourishment - $1.29 for a five pound bag. I got my baked potato recipe from Jacques Pepin and Julia Child.  Here is how they, and I, recommend cooking baked potatoes...quite possibly one of the easiest things to make. Sometimes if I don't have a lunch ready for work, I pop the potatoes in when I wake up in the morning, and they are ready to grab and go when I head to work.

1) Preheat oven to 425* and set the rack in the bottom third of the oven.

2) Scrub your potatoes under cold running water and cut off any parts that look sketchy.

3) Place the potato directly on the rack (no dishes!).  Bake for 45 minutes - pierce with a knife to ensure they are done.

4) When the potatoes are done, remove them and cut a 2 inch slash lengthwise.  Press the two ends toward each other to make room for salt and pepper and your choice of toppings.  Here is where Julia and I diverge - I understand what she is getting at and can visualize cutting a 2 inch slash and pushing the ends together.  However, it never seems to work for me.  What I do now is cut the potato in half and separate the two halves.  Then I cut a bunch of slashes widthwise and a bunch lengthwise so my entire potato looks like a crisscross.  Then I mash in my toppings.

My favorite potato is lots of pepper, sea salt, a bit of olive oil, chives, parsley, a shake or two of grated parmesan cheese and a big huge side of ketchup.  Absolutely delicious and without all the butter/sour cream, bacon etc. it really makes for a healthy dinner.  Try to add as many herbs/vegetables as you can for an even healthier meal.

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