Okay, so I fully admit it is not baked potato weather. We’re going on a streak of 100-degree days here, and I don’t love turning the oven on.
On the other hand, I am loving potatoes right now, and sometimes, when I’m having a blah day,* a baked potato is the only thing that sounds good. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered a recipe that not only promised to deliver the tastiest baked potato possible (with butter and cheese cooked right into it!), but also cut down cooking time by a third.
* Yes, I still have them occasionally, and yes, I’m taking about nausea/food aversions. This pregnancy has been difficult, especially with the heat, but I’m coping — and it could be a lot worse. But carbs are still my friends a lot of the time.
Of course I tried it at the earliest possible opportunity, and — there’s no better way to say it — these potatoes were awesome. The other members of my family, neither or whom has ever been as enthusiastic about baked potatoes as I am, loved them too.
Mom to Bed by 8 offers a great tutorial here, but I tweaked it just a little bit (and not in the direction of making it any healthier, I’m afraid — quite the opposite). So I’ll share my version here, too, but hop on over there to get a step-by-step feel for how you should be doing things. I don’t think you’ll ever make baked potatoes the “old way” again!
- 4 large baking potatoes*
- Cheese, sliced
- Sour cream, chives, salt and pepper and any other ingredients you desire for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Wash and dry the potatoes. Using a sharp knife, but ¼-inch slices into each potato, crosswise, but don’t cut all the way through to the bottom.Leave enough flesh to keep the potato together (think accordion-style).
- Stuff each of the slits you’ve just made with butter and cheese, alternately. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet (make a little foil “boat” to keep things neat if you want — I did) and bake for 35 minutes.
- Add additional shredded cheese to the potatoes and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are cooked perfectly.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly, then add your additional toppings — I recommend a healthy dollop of sour cream and chives, if you have them, plus salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
*Or as many servings as you would like to prepare.