Baked potatoes are often overlooked as something you eat only when you’re out at a nice restaurant for dinner. But they’re so easy, mess-free, and economical to cook at home! Use them as a side dish, or as the entree’.
Since we’re heating up the oven anyway, we always cook extra. The leftovers can be used in all sorts of ways, and cook quickly as they’ve already been cooked. (Use them in hash, home fries, breakfast scrambles (good at any time of the day!), casseroles, etc.) In a pinch they’re not bad to nibble on either.
To bake them:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F)
2. Wash the potatoes, removing any eyes that are forming.
3. Prick each potato a couple of times with a fork. (This will prevent the build up of pressure inside the potato as it cooks. If you don’t you may have exploded potato all over the inside of your oven.)
4. Some people like to coat the potato skins with butter, margarine, or such. We never bother.
5. Bake until a fork an easily be inserted into the potato. Usually about an hour for average sized baking potatoes. Large potatoes can take longer.
6. Remove the potatoes with tongues and place on a serving dish… enjoy!
Suggestions for serving as baked potato toppings: butter/margarine, sour cream, fresh chives, powdered chives, steamed broccoli, cheese of nearly any kind, chili… use your imagination! (This is also great for kids, as each child can express their individuality in how they create their potato masterpiece!)
Note: if you’re on a tighter schedule, or just want to use less electricity, slice you potatoes in half lengthwise. Coat the cut side with butter or such, and place in a casserole dish. Bake until a fork is easily inserted… about half the time of baking the whole potato.