Sunday, March 17, 2013

Homage to the POTATO (Baked Potato)

Top O' The Mornin' To Ya!

Annette and I are going to take this week to pay homage to the mighty potato, as a small way to honor our Irish heritage.  You don't have to be Irish to love the potato, but we seem to love them an extreme amount! :)  We love them every single way you can cook them, so we are going to pick some of our favorite ways (maybe this will turn into more than a week...) and share them with you.

We are going to start with the most basic - the Baked Potato!  There are several ways to make them:

Baked Potatoes

Beth and I know that showing how to make a baked potato seems a little...let's just say easy, but, let me explain.  Many times over the years different people have asked me, "How do you make such awesome-perfect baked potatoes?"  I have to admit it did make me scratch my head a bit. ;) But here goes and don't dare let me hear (key word-hear) you laugh over this.  Let's say this is for the new cook.

First, you have to be choosy when picking your "perfect" potato.  I try to look them over really well to make sure there are no bad spots on them.  Note:  I usually make 1 extra potato in case there's a spud that has that hidden imperfection. I scrub them really well as some love to eat the skin and I'm kind of, let's say a "clean freak".  Then I put a little softened butter in my hands and coat the entire potato with it. (Makes the skin soft).

Next, I cover the potato with aluminum foil.  I cook this beauty at 450 degrees for about 2 hours and 15 minutes. I know that sounds like a long time, but, I forgot to say we typically choose LARGE potatoes  - might as well go all the way if you're gonna do it. ;)  To make sure it's cooked to perfection take a thin towel and squeeze it lightly on both sides to make sure it's soft to touch.  That's it!  Perfect Baked Potato!  Finally, load that baby with all your favorites! I love butter, sour cream, and cheese at the very least.


BTW ~ for all of those healthy peeps out there who have sworn off white potatoes, Baked Sweet Potatoes are just as easy! (Not so Irish, but wanted to give a healthy(ish) option)
Wash them and poke some holes in them.  Pop them in the middle of a 375 degree oven.  Place them directly on the rack with a piece of foil on the rack below.  Bake until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife or until "squishy."  It should take about 60 - 70 minutes.
Annette/Beth special note here:  Notice the lower temp and shorter cook time = never as big on the sweet potato as the white potato - did we mention we're IRISH? 

I mashed mine with butter and sprinkled a little kosher salt on top - OH YUM!!! (Of course you can add brown sugar if that is your thing, but it was as sweet as candy without any added sweetener.

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