baked potato

Baked Potato

What do you eat when you're feeling sad or emotionally wrecked or furious at the world?

I grew up in a family in which, whenever there was a crisis of some sort, the grownups would say "how can you eat at a time like this?!"

But I'm an eater and, in fact, when I am feeling like life is closing in, I want to eat more than ever, fill myself with food and just keep pecking away like a chicken in a barnyard.

People talk about comfort foods. You know, the foods that supposedly make you feel better.

So what is that food, that one thing that I want the most when I'm at a low point? I've thought about it, that's for sure.

Do I want my Mom's Mac n' Cheese?

Actually, I would rather have my Mom, thank you.

Ditto, my Mom's Apple Pie and Chicken Soup.

Popcorn helps, but isn't sustaining.

Ditto Li-Lac chocolate's Butter Crunch

Actually, what I want is the very simplest of foods. What helps me most is a plain baked potato.

Russet-Idaho. Organic. Crunchy crusted. Faint metallic taste to the flesh.

This is food so basic and sustaining, so wonderful that, IMHO, it needs just a bit of butter, salt and pepper. Skip the sour cream. No chives. No cheese.

Keep it simple. 

I just ate one. I might have another later.

So easy to make perfectly:

Baked Potato

  • 4 organic Idaho, russet type potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes. When the oven reaches 400 degrees, place the potatoes in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Pierce each potato with the tip of a sharp knife. Continue to bake for another 45 minutes or until the outside is crusty and the inside is tender (pierce the flesh with the tip of a sharp knife). 

Makes 4 servings

 

 

 

 

 

Baked, Stuffed Potatoes

Some people eat out on their birthday and that’s fine, but I prefer to be in my casual clothes and eat exactly what I want (over the course of the entire day) rather than in a chair all dressed up at a restaurant having to choose from a menu someone else planned. 
 What I like could vary, depending on my mood, but often the birthday food has something to do with  fried chicken . Or anything made with a potato. And, most especially, homemade  apple pie  the way my mom made it. 
 I already have the pie in my freezer. So, I am getting ready for my birthday (in a few days) by making baked stuffed potatoes: organic Russets baked to a crisp, the insides removed and mashed with  plenty  of butter and cream cheese (maybe even a little dairy sour cream), salt and freshly ground black pepper before being stuffed back into the potato skins and baked until the top is crusty. 
 Please don’t tell me that white potatoes are unhealthy and fattening. I know. The flesh is high on the glycemic index and that’s not good But potato skins contain good supplies of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  
 And of course I am aware that adding butter and cream cheese adds fat and calories. That’s what makes this recipe so awesome. Besides, I am a big believer that if you eat healthy most of the time — we do — then indulging occasionally is not only good but important for one’s emotional well being. 
 By the way, if it turns out I don’t eat these baked stuffed potatoes on  the day , they freeze well and I know I’m gonna want them sometime soon. 

                                                                                                                    
 Baked, Stuffed Potatoes  
  4 Russet type potatoes, scrubbed  
  2 tablespoons butter  
  3 ounces cream cheese  
 4-5 tablespoons milk or dairy sour cream 
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
 paprika 
 Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, place them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.    Prick the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake for another 45 minutes   or until the knife can easily pierce through the potato.   When the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the butter and mash it into the potatoes. Add the cream cheese and blend it in thoroughly. Mix in enough of the milk or dairy sour cream to achieve a moist and tender consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back in equal amounts inside the potato skins. Sprinkle the surface with paprika. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the filled potato skins on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until hot, with the skins crispy.   
  Makes 4-8 servings

Some people eat out on their birthday and that’s fine, but I prefer to be in my casual clothes and eat exactly what I want (over the course of the entire day) rather than in a chair all dressed up at a restaurant having to choose from a menu someone else planned.

What I like could vary, depending on my mood, but often the birthday food has something to do with fried chicken. Or anything made with a potato. And, most especially, homemade apple pie the way my mom made it.

I already have the pie in my freezer. So, I am getting ready for my birthday (in a few days) by making baked stuffed potatoes: organic Russets baked to a crisp, the insides removed and mashed with plenty of butter and cream cheese (maybe even a little dairy sour cream), salt and freshly ground black pepper before being stuffed back into the potato skins and baked until the top is crusty.

Please don’t tell me that white potatoes are unhealthy and fattening. I know. The flesh is high on the glycemic index and that’s not good But potato skins contain good supplies of vitamins, minerals and fiber. 

And of course I am aware that adding butter and cream cheese adds fat and calories. That’s what makes this recipe so awesome. Besides, I am a big believer that if you eat healthy most of the time — we do — then indulging occasionally is not only good but important for one’s emotional well being.

By the way, if it turns out I don’t eat these baked stuffed potatoes on the day, they freeze well and I know I’m gonna want them sometime soon.

                                                                                                                  

Baked, Stuffed Potatoes 

4 Russet type potatoes, scrubbed

2 tablespoons butter

3 ounces cream cheese

4-5 tablespoons milk or dairy sour cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

paprika

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, place them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Prick the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake for another 45 minutes or until the knife can easily pierce through the potato. When the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the butter and mash it into the potatoes. Add the cream cheese and blend it in thoroughly. Mix in enough of the milk or dairy sour cream to achieve a moist and tender consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back in equal amounts inside the potato skins. Sprinkle the surface with paprika. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the filled potato skins on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until hot, with the skins crispy.

Makes 4-8 servings

baked potatoes

Jim Kuzzy (jimkuzzy@yahoo.com) submitted:

Ronnie,

Thanks for the stuffed potato recipes.  I look forward to trying the spinach and feta cheese variety.  I have a slight variation on baking potatoes which works well.  To your instructions, after scrubbing I would add drying with a paper towel to maximize benefits of 400 degree oven blast;  secondly, do not pierce the potato until it has baked for 30 minutes, then pierce as you said once with the tip of a knife.  Minor tweaks to be sure, but big results in the end. 

Thanks again for the recipes. 

Hey Jim — thanks for your wonderful input! Yes, quite true that the dry potato gets a better blast of heat and crunch. I agree fully.

I also agree that you should pierce the potato after 20-30 minutes — the most perfect way to bake a potato. I have to say — I did an article for a newspaper years ago on baked potatoes and actually recommended this and someone wrote to me that that was much too much trouble and picky for something as simple as a baked potato. So, I never recommended it again, for fear of angry readers!!  But you are so right — if you can remember and don’t think it’s too much to ask, pierce a baking potato 20-30 minutes after putting it into the oven!

Thanks!