Thrice Baked Potatoes

We all know that baked potatoes are obliging little beasts that will happily carry pretty much any filling you chuck at them.  Not only that, they’re not in the slightest bit complex or challenging to make – just wash them, stab them with a fork/slit the tops, rub some olive oil and salt into the skins and slam into the oven.

However, now and again I find myself wanting something a bit more from my baked potato.  Call me demanding if you wish, but I like my food to take a bit of pride in itself, to make an effort, dress up from time to time…d’ya know what I mean? 😉

So this is where the triple baking comes in.  It does require a bit of effort but it elevates the humble baked spud from dowdy to delectable.

Serves two – three

Ingredients
3 small to medium potatoes, baked and cooled
Olive oil
3-4 tablespoons crème fraîche (or sour cream, or natural yoghurt)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
100-150g finely grated cheese 
Music

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F

Scooped potatoes, cheese and onionCut the baked potatoes in half and, being careful not to break through the skin, scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon.  Put potato innards into a bowl and set to one side.

Olive oilBrush potato skins, inside and out, with olive oil.

Chipotle sea saltSprinkle with ground sea salt – again both inside and out.  I used this stunning chipotle sea salt that I recently rediscovered in my cupboard but plain sea salt is just fine.

Potatoes brushed with olive oil (2nd bake)Place skin side up on a baking tray or rack and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.

If you have something against doing things in triplicate, or if you just want to speed things up, you can skip this step and just have twice baked potatoes, but they won’t be as crispy.

Potato, creme fraiche and seasoningAdd crème fraîche and plenty of black pepper to the reserved potato flesh.  Remember you’ve salted the skins so be judicious if you add more salt at this point.

Potato, cheese and onionMix in chopped spring onions and grated cheese.  Taste, adjust seasoning, taste again.  Maybe just a touch more black pepper?  Taste again.

Stop tasting now or you won’t have enough filling for the potato skins.

Stuffed and cheese topped potatoes (3rd bake)Pile potato mix into the potato skins and top with remaining cheese.  Pop back into the oven and bake until filling is piping hot and golden brown.

Sausage on a plateAnd there you go…your potatoes are thrice baked.

Try them for a change as a side dish with steak, or honey mustard sausage pinwheels, or quiche, or any other thing that you fancy. They also make a delicious lunch, supper or snack.

This is just a basic recipe but really, the world’s yer lobster as far as fillings go.  Barn and I like various combinations of crispy bacon pieces, finely chopped fresh tomato, fresh mixed herbs, olives, blue cheese, sweetcorn and chillies.  Petit Man is also partial to a bit of flaked tuna in his.

What do you like in yours?
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