Baked potatoes are simple to prepare yet extremely versatile and nutritious. They can be served as an accompaniment, or with a filling as a complete meal.
Select even-shaped potatoes and scrub. They can be baked in the oven, Microwave or a combination of both.
Bake the potatoes in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 1¼ -1½ hours until tender. Metal skewers pushed through the potatoes will reduce the cooking time by up to a quarter (for oven baking only).
Scrub the potatoes, then dry and prick each one several times with a fork. Cook one potato (225g/8oz) for 6 minutes on full power (800W), turn half way through cooking. Allow to stand for 1 – 2 minutes before serving. If cooking more than one potato at a time you need to increase the cooking time accordingly.
If really short of time, par cook the baking potatoes in the microwave then finish in the oven at 200°C, Gas Mark 6 to crisp the skins.
You can rub a little oil & rock salt into the skins before baking to make them extra crispy. If you are baking the potatoes for a big crowd, increase the temperature to 220°C. When they are cooked, make a crosswise slit in the top of each potato and squeeze gently to open out the cross.
- My father liked nothing better than a knob or butter set to melt on his baked potato.
- A dish of soured cream mixed with a few drops of lemon juice and chopped chives allows everyone to help themselves.
- Top with cheese and place under a preheated grill for 3-4 minutes or until melted and lightly golden
For a tasty supper dish try one of the following accompanied with a side salad.
Leek & Cheddar
1 tbsp olive oil
200g leeks, sliced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
Dash Worcestershire sauce
50g Cheddar cheese, grated
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the leeks for 3-4 minutes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways, scoop out most of the cooked flesh and mix with the leeks, mayonnaise and seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Place back in the potato jackets.
4 tbsp Salsa relish plus extra for dipping
50g (1 3/4oz) Cheddar cheese or mozzarella, sliced or grated
When the potatoes are cooked cut them almost in half lengthways, spoon in the salsa relish, top with the cheese and place under a preheated grill for 2-3minutes until the cheese is melted.
Mushroon & Garlic
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
175g Mushrooms, sliced
2 x 15ml spoons Cream cheese
2 x 15ml spoons freshly chopped herbs
Salt & freshly ground pepper
After the potato has been cooking for about 1 hour, melt the butter, add the garlic and mushrooms and cook gently for 5 – 10 minutes.Stir in the cream cheese and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the herbs and season to taste
When the potatoes are cooked cut them almost in half lengthways and spoon in the mushroom sauce.
Shrimp & Spring Onion
250g cooked peeled shrimps
150ml soured cream
150ml natural yogurt
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
4 spring onions, finely chopped
Combine the filling ingredients & season to taste.Cut a cross in the top of the baked potato and spoon in the filling.
Salmon & Soured Cream
250g cold poached salmon (or drained canned salmon)
300ml soured cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
25g flaked almonds, toasted for garnish
Flake the cooked salmon, removing skin and any bones.Mix the remaining ingredients and season to taste.Pile onto the baked potato and garnish with the flaked almonds.