Eyes front and center!
It’s time to talk about tubers and that all-time favorite, the baked potato.
It’s a classic and a great side dish to countless main courses.
And it can be the main course itself.
The Ideal Baking Potato
Potatoes are the world’s fourth largest food crop.
The were cultivated first in Peru, then made a round trip across the ocean to Spain and back again to the Americas.
Today, Idaho is the largest producer of potatoes but didn’t start growing them until 1836.
Did you know that there are more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes in all shapes and sizes?
But the ideal baking potato is the Russet. It’s texture, when baked, turns light and fluffy.
How To Bake a Potato Like A Pro
Baking a potato is a snap.
Start with preheating the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash the outside of the potato while the oven comes to temperature.
Prick the skin a few times with a fork.
Don’t miss this important step. It helps to reduce the build up of steam in its core and will reduce the risk of a potato explosion in your oven.
This I know from personal experience.
Place the potato directly on the oven rack or sheet tray.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
After you prick the skin, you can cook your potato in a microwave but then you miss out on the delightful crispiness the oven gives it.
Can I Eat the Whole Potato?
And that outer skin?
There’s no reason not to enjoy this important and delicious source of vitamins and dietary fiber.
Toppings Are Only Limited by Your Imagination
Once the spud is out of the oven, split the top and serve.
What you top it with is only limited by your imagination.
What Else Can I Do with a Baked Potato?
To save time on a weeknight bake your potatoes on the weekend or the night before, store them in the refrigerator, and then warm them up for a quick meal.
Whatever you choose to do, remember all eyes will be on you as you prepare this special treat.