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Jason Perlow

Dressing up the baked potato

62 posts in this topic

I find baked potatoes to be great side dishes and great meals in and of themselves, provided you dress them up for the occassion.

Here's one that we had a few days ago for dinner:

gallery_2_4_1103166411.jpg

He's got chili, shredded colbyjack, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and sour cream on the side with some sauteed spinach.

How do you like to dress your potatoes? Whats the most interesting variation you've seen?


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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It really depends... I think my most favorite is a little butter, a little cheese, a little sour cream (yes, this is REALLY low-fat!), bacon bits and lightly steamed broccoli. Oh... it's divine! (You can even add sauteed onions for that extra kick...)

I've also been a fan of chili, sour cream and cilantro... a little lime juice is good too (surprisingly).

Curry sauce with cauliflower is pretty good too...

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If I really want to go whole hog: sauteed garlic, onions, parboiled broccoli, grated jack and very sharp grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter, and freshly ground black pepper .... hopefully, not too much to obscure the true potato flavor ... :rolleyes:

If I want something quite elegant: Boursin or another garlic-herb soft cheese, smoked salmon, a dollop of caviar & sour cream .. divine yet decadently rich ... :biggrin:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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New fav for us, very simple: top a buttered baker with onion confit.

Seared broccoli with a garlic cheese sauce, long cuts of chive.

Chili, grated sharp cheddar, jalapeno rings, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream (either in addition to or to sub for cheese).

Sauteed asparagus spears with melted garlic/lemon butter.

Roasted tomatoes and grilled onions with pancetta and run under the broiler with smoked provolone on top.

Bleu cheese blended and warmed with a pat of butter and cream cheese, topped with a pile of long cuts of garlic chives.

Szekelys gulyas (pork and sauerkraut goulash stew) with sour cream.

Butter, strips of fried ham, topped with a soft fried egg and scallions.

Rare steak sliced thin, grilled purple onions, lots of black pepper and sauteed mushrooms dripping in butter.

Roasted red Anas, grilled onions, butter and sour cream.

Butter, lots of fresh lemon thyme and chopped tomatoes with Parm Reg.


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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How do you like to dress your potatoes? Whats the most interesting variation you've seen?

What I'd like to know is:

How'd you get such a dynamite shot?

Food photography is trickier than landscapes, buildings or human/animal subjects, and many of the food pix on this site, while they illustrate their points well, look kind of, well, flat. We get an idea what the dish ought to look like, but the picture doesn't quite do it justice.

This one does and then some.

For starters, I assume you weren't using a point-and-shoot snapshot camera--or if you were, then you weren't using the built-in flash? What else did you do or not do?

As for baked potato dressing, I like the idea of topping one with broccoli and cheese, but haven't turned that into reality yet. Usually, I still eat it nearly naked, with only butter and black pepper.

Trust me, this picture gives me ideas--which, I thought, was what good food photography was about anyway.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Nothing lowly about a baked potato....

One variation I do to turn it into a full supper dish is to slowly cook leeks in copious amounts of butter, scoop out the insides of the baked potatoes and mix with the leeks and crumbled Tallegio (Or other cheese of your choice). Plenty of black pepper too, shouldn't need salt though.

Put the mix back in the skins, dot with a bit more butter and some grated cheese and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

I sometimes throw some bacon into the mix as well (Smoked works well here)


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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The humble spud-The single most useful and neutral starchy side (or main)known to man--combinations are as limitless as your imagination as it can take on any style of cuisine,my personal favorite is soy and toasted sesame

Dave s


"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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Fresh horseradish and cream, smoked oysters and green onion.


Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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How do you like to dress your potatoes? Whats the most interesting variation you've seen?

What I'd like to know is:

How'd you get such a dynamite shot?

Dumb luck, with a minor amount of skill. Its taken me about a year to get really good with this camera. The Nikon Coolpix 5700 has excellent optics with a nice big lens, and is capable of taking beautiful photos, but its also extremely prone to camera shake because it is top heavy, hard to hold steady, its autofocus is the slowest I have ever seen on a digital camera, and the shutter delay is frequently over 2 seconds. If your light isn't utterly perfect, the shot is going to be utter garbage. In this case I used direct overhead lighting over my kitchen peninsula, and I think they are halogens. I also shoot all my subjects in RAW now, which improves the digital brilliance because there is no loss of CCD data. I also take an average of 10 shots per subject if I want to ensure quality shots like this. Frequently I have to let my food go cold to get this kind of photo, because 8MB RAW shots take a while to write to the card and after every 2 or 3 I have to wait like 60 seconds. I guess that's why we have microwaves.

When I have the cash I am finally going to buy myself a real digital SLR. No more of this prosumer crap for me.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Butter and a little sea salt. Sometimes a splash of malt vinegar.

If you're in B'ham Alabama and looking for a potato, Jim and Nicks BBQ had a full one pound baked potato topped with butter, pork bbq (probably a 1/2lb), bacon, grated cheese, sour cream, and topped with scallions and bbq sauce. I suppose you could order chicken instead of pork if you were watching you diet.


Bode

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The best part of that particular baked potato was the skin. After par-baking in the microwave (so shoot me) (set the auto-potato to "less" so they don't get over-cooked), I rubbed the skin with some salt and goose fat I scored from the chef at Les Halles. They were then finished in the toaster oven at 450 for about 15 minutes. I had made 4 potatoes because they were on the small side. The skin on the first potato was crispy & crunchy.

However, I left the seconds in the toaster oven on "keep warm" ~150F, convection. The skin on those got soft within the next 10-15 minutes. Is there any way to keep the skin crunchy w/out over cooking the potato?

(Hmm, I have to make more chili, that was my last batch from the freezer.)

Do you know how to split a baked potato best for topping? I worked at Byers restaurant when I was in high school, when the stuffed baked potato was just making its mall restaurant debut. (Actually, Byers was pretty good, way better than most mall food court places. It was like a gourmet cafeteria. There was a bakery up front with croissants and other pastries & breads (we baked from thawed frozen sent to us from up-chain somewhere). The leftover breads were made into croutons for the soups and salads. There was a salad bar and sandwich bar, but it was behind glass, so the customer worked with a prep person to customize their lunch.) We had these huge potatoes. You make an X with the tines of a fork, then push the potato with your fingers, from the long ends, in. This opens and semi-crushes the flesh, so you get all those nice nooks and crannies (to borrow a phrase) for the butter and other toppings.

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Nothing wrong, Rachel, with starting them in the nuker and finishing in the oven or toaster oven.

Baked potatoes are another great go-to food, and we had them like this much more often when I worked outside the house. Wash potatoes, prick, nuke. While in the microwave, scan the fridge and freezer for bits of odd leftovers, etc. with which to top them. Dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Jason, that potato looks fantastic!

Baked potatoes are often a meal for my son, who likes to combine both real bacon bits with fake. <shrug> What can I say, he likes the taste of them, and doesn't consider fake as an alternative to the real, but as an additional topping. My preferred toppings are butter (lots), grated extra sharp cheddar, sour cream, bacon, salt and lots of black pepper. Alternatively, lose the sour cream, bacon, and cheddar, and top with crumbled feta and chopped tomato.

One good variant I've had is a crawfish etouffee topped potato.


"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

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I usually do the microwave-then-toaster oven routine as well -- and I love the real crispy skin the best so I crank the toaster oven up pretty high. I'm pretty much of a purist when it comes to my baked potatoes, adding only a little butter and salt, sometimes adding a dollop of sour cream and fresh chipped chives. My other favorite is baked sweet potatoes with butter and LOTS of black pepper.

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duck fat, crème fraîche, and slice of seared foie gras. Yum!


Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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When we lived in DC, we frequented a restaurant called Golden Temple of Conscious Cookery, a joint run by Hare Krishnas. Their "Mushroom Meadow" was my favorite full-meal spud serving:

a bed of lettuces, roughly chopped and lightly dressed with sesame/ginger dressing

topped with a split-open baked potato

topped with a ton of sauteed sliced mushrooms (maybe with onions, too?)

topped with sprouts, and possibly

topped with yogurt, iirc.

The important thing, as far as I'm concerned, is that the potato be organically grown; SOOOOOOOO much more flavor!

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duck fat, crème fraîche, and slice of seared foie gras. Yum!

and this combo comes with a coupon for one free angioplasty, no?? :laugh:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Ah . . . the old smushing-from-the-ends trick. This does indeed result in a fluffy repose for all sorts of goodies. My favorite is still the sour cream, bacon, cheddar routine. But I have been known to top them with leftover, really dark, chicken and sausage gumbo.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I top them with lots of butter, salt, pepper, sliced cooked asparagus, a spritz of lemon juice, and aged asiago cheese. Other times, some butter and a gently poached egg with some sharp cheddar grated all over.

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I'm a purist, mostly. Butter salt and pepper usually does it for me if it is a side dish. Maybe a little parsley, if it is really nice.

If it's a meal on it's own, nearly anything I'd serve over rice will top it. A dark roux based really thick stew, made with shrimp, meatballs, or shredded chicken works really well (along the lines of fifi's mention).

Or nearly any kind of cheese (not with the stew listed above. Those stand alone. Chili. Herbs - I like parsley, chives, scallions, and sometimes just a little snip of basil.

And coque au vin. Really good with that.

I've seen the Jim N' Nicks potato. I just can't handle that. I'm not a really big fan of the sauce around here, so it didn't appeal to me at all.

Edited for tyops...


Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)

Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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I don't top, I stuff. Scoop out the innards, mash with butter, sour cream,s&p and chives, then fold in chunks of ham and shredded cheddar. stuff back into shells, broil briefly to melt the cheese to a goozey golden brown and chow down. :wub:

I haven't done this in a long time; this thread is torture for a carb counter! :angry:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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duck fat, crème fraîche, and slice of seared foie gras. Yum!

That sounds really really nice.

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duck fat, crème fraîche, and slice of seared foie gras. Yum!

and this combo comes with a coupon for one free angioplasty, no?? :laugh:

Nope! But to that I shall respond with what has become my favorite food quote, and one I find myself living by:

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.

--John Mortimera


Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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