Fancy Baked Potatoes!
Quick, fun, deliciously easy to prepare and especially great for kids or finicky guests. It’s totally audience participation as well so everyone can be involved in the preparations and since they all get to load up their ‘taters with as much or as little of their favorite bits every one is happy!
Preheat oven to 450 and plan on one to two whole potatoes for each person. Cut them in half and toss in a big work bowl with a glug of olive oil, a couple of pinches of salt and a grind or two of pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and put in the oven for twenty minutes or until done when tested with a fork. I like to use small to medium size potatoes so cooking time is shorter and I can make several combos in one meal!
While the ‘taters are baking, assemble all your preferred toppings.
Here’s where the creativity and comes in and where the kids can help. Simply assemble small bowls of anything and everything you (and your guests) would ever think of liking on a potato. Now don’t just stop at the usual toppings of butter, sour cream, baco’s and chives. Really get creative and you will make this again and again!
I made up dishes of: roasted corn, shredded yellow beets, cilantro, grilled aspargus and bacon bits.
For protein I had some chopped grilled chicken breast and some small frozen scallops I tossed on the grill on skewers while the chicken was cooking.
Once everything is assembled and the potaoes are done serve it all up in the middle of the table and let people go at it!
Try going theme style with Mexican ‘taters! Grated spicy jack cheese, sauteed peppers and onions, spicy ground beef or grilled flank steak, and roasted corn. A dash of Tapatio or Tabasco and delish!
Or try Pizza style with grilled mild Italian sausage, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, grilled tomatoes, black olives and red bell peppers!
You could even go Gourmet Mushroom style by doing a quick saute of assorted fungi like shitake, oyster, crimini and enoki in butter and white wine with smoked tofu, chopped parsley and little dabs of mild goat cheese.
Ooh! How about Greek style with chopped fresh spinach, feta cheese crumbles, pine nuts and a little yogurt tzatziki sauce! (There is a great recipe for tzatziki here: http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/07/worlds-best-tzatziki-sauce-recipe-greek.html )
So many ways to eat a humble baked potato, you’ll never go back to just butter and sour cream again!