The secret to a great baked potato is the heat of the oven.
Baked or jacket potatoes as some prefer to call them are so under rated, they can be delicious, complete meals if you bake them properly and have a fabulous filling.
To make the perfect jacket potato and by that I mean, steamy soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, this is what you need to do.
Take 4 to 6 large baking potatoes, scrub them clean and poke them with a fork all over about 5 or 6 times. Place them in a hot oven(200C) for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. They will be just perfect, a crisp outer skin and steamy soft inside.
If you want a quicker meal, poke them and then simply microwave them for 10-15 minutes first (all together) and then place them in the 200 Celsius oven for about 15-20 minutes, they will be just as good.
I generally make fillings with leftovers, like chicken, bolognaise sauce or whatever you have.
Cut the potato length wise or a cross along the top and heap over your filling. Serve with a green salad or coleslaw.
We all have certain favorite flavours, here are 2 of my favorites to fill jacket potatoes.
Chicken and spring onion
Chop up your leftover chicken(or cook boneless breasts or thighs), thinly slice a few spring onions and mix together with some cottage cheese and a generous grind of pepper and a little salt.
Whenever I make bolognese sauce I always make a bit extra. Spoon over plenty of bolognaise sauce, grate some cheese over the top and place under the grill for a few minutes.
There are endless fillings you can use for baked potatoes and are a great way to use up leftovers or vegetables when there is not enough to make a meal.
I often stir fry vegetables like onions, peppers, cabbage and patty pans when I only have a few of each left, cover the potato, top them off with cheese and pop under the grill.
Tonight, delve into your fridge and take out all of the leftovers or bits and pieces of vegetables that you will probably end up throwing away and make yourself a delicious baked potato.