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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bake Your Potato Like A Man

by Roy Peckham (bio)

There are an infinite number of ways to prepare a studly spud. Allow me to lend you some advice to ensure that you bake your potatoes like a man.

If you wrap a potato in foil and throw it into an oven, you are pretty much just steaming it for 40 minutes. The key to baking a potato is getting the skin right. I like to wash and clean the potatoes, then pour some olive oil over them and crack some salt on top. It's probably best to do this in a big bowl. Then, roll your sleeves up, and rub the salt and oil so that it covers each potato completely. Punch a few holes with a small knife or fork. Throw it in an oven, on the rack -- not in a tray. You want the heat to completely surround and cook the potatoes evenly. Place a bit of foil below it to catch any liquid that will inevitably flow from the potato, thus relieving you from learning to clean the oven like a man later. I usually crank it to about 400+ F and leave it in for about 45+ minutes. Stick a knife in or give them a light squeeze with your fingers to know if they are done. You should end up with an evenly cooked potato and a crispy, well seasoned skin.

A few ideas for your manly potatoes:

Steak. Steak. Steak.

Chicken Fajita Potatoes: Pan fry some sliced chicken breast, bell peppers, chili, and light seasoning (salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon, whatever). Dump a big wodge of this lovely mixture on top of an open potato and top with cheese, green onions, or anything else.

Twice baked potato/potato skins: Since the skin on these bad boys is just that good, you can scoop out the guts, mix them with something delicious and re-bake them for a bit back in their original skins. They are perfect for potato skins.

Sausage and beans: Grill yourself some good sausage. Slice it up and mix into some hot baked beans. Pour this all over your freshly baked spud.

A bit dainty: Top your potato with some fresh cooked asparagus, peppery rocket, and salty parmesan cheese. Notice how the natural flavor of the ingredients will season the dish.

A few of your familiar toppings: butter, cheese, sour cream, spring (green) onions, bacon, chives.

A few of your unfamiliar toppings: pesto, cajun seasoning, hummus, salsa, avocado, olive oil, hot sauce, ranch dressing, broccoli & cheese, nutmeg, diced ham.

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