Tags: Baked Potatoes, Baking, Cooking, Food, Grilling, One of America's Favorites, Potatoes, recipes, Roasting, Russet Potatoes
A baked potato, or jacket potato, is a potato that has been baked for eating. When well cooked, a baked potato has a fluffy interior and a crisp skin. It may be served with fillings and condiments such as butter, cheese or ham. Potatoes can be baked in a conventional gas or electric oven, a convection oven, a microwave oven, on a barbecue grill, or on/in an open fire. Some restaurants use special ovens designed specifically to cook large numbers of potatoes, then keep them warm and ready for service.
Prior to cooking, the potato should be scrubbed clean, washed and dried with eyes and surface blemishes removed, and basted with oil (usually Olive oil) or butter and/or salt. Pricking the potato with a fork or knife allows steam to escape during the cooking process. Potatoes cooked in a microwave oven without pricking the skin might split open due to built up internal pressure from unvented steam. It takes between one and two hours to bake a large potato in a conventional oven at 200 °C (392 °F). Microwaving takes from six to twelve minutes depending on oven power and potato size, but does not generally produce a crisp skin. Some recipes call for use of both a microwave and a conventional oven, with the microwave being used to vent most of the steam prior to the cooking process.
Some varieties of potato such as Russet and King Edward potatoes are more suitable for baking than others, owing to their size and consistency.
Wrapping the potato in aluminium foil before cooking in a standard oven will help to retain moisture, while leaving it unwrapped will result in a crisp skin. When cooking over an open fire or in the coals of a barbecue, it may require wrapping in foil to prevent burning of the skin. A potato buried directly in coals of a fire cooks very nicely, with a mostly burned and inedible skin. A baked potato is fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 99 °C (210 °F).
Once a potato has been baked, some people discard the skin and eat only the softer and moister interior, while others enjoy the taste and texture of the crisp skin. Potatoes baked in their skins may lose between 20 and 40% of their vitamin C content because heating in air is slow and vitamin inactivation can continue for a long time. Small potatoes bake more quickly than large ones and therefore retain more of their vitamin C. Despite the popular misconception that potatoes are fattening, baked potatoes can be used as part of a healthy diet.
Some people bake their potatoes and then scoop out the interior, leaving the skin as a shell. The white interior flesh can then be mixed with various other food items such as cheese, butter, or bacon bits. This mixture is then spooned back into the skin shells and they are replaced in the oven to warm through. In America these are known variously as loaded potato skins, filled potatoes and twice baked potatoes. In Great Britain, toppings or fillings tend to be more varied than they are in America: baked beans, curried chicken, tuna, and prawn fillings are popular, and in Scotland even haggis is used as a filling for jacket potatoes.
A variation is Hasselback potatoes, where the potato is cut into very thin slices almost down the bottom, so that the potato still holds together, and is then baked in the oven, occasionally scalloped with cheese. The proper noun “Hasselback” refers to the luxurious Hasselbacken hotel and restaurant in Stockholm which originated this dish.
Many restaurants serve baked potatoes with sides such as butter, sour cream, chives, shredded cheese, and bacon bits. These potatoes can be a side item to a steak dinner, or some similar entree. Sides are usually optional and customers can order as many or as few as they wish.
Large, stuffed baked potatoes may be served as an entree, usually filled with meat in addition to any of the ingredients mentioned above. Barbecued or smoked meat or chili is substituted. Vegetables such as broccoli may also be added.
Idaho is the major producing state of potatoes. The Idaho baked potato was heavily promoted by the Northern Pacific Railroad in the early 20th century, often using Hollywood movie stars.
Hazen Titus was appointed as the Northern Pacific Railway’s dining car superintendent in 1908. He talked to Yakima Valley farmers who complained that they were unable to sell their potato crops because their potatoes were simply too large. They fed them to hogs. Titus learned that a single potato could weigh from two to five pounds, but that smaller potatoes were preferred by the end buyers of the vegetable and that many considered them not to be edible because they were difficult to cook because of their thick, rough skin.
Titus and his staff discovered the “inedible” potatoes were delicious after baking in a slow oven. He contracted to purchase as many potatoes as the farmers could produce that were more than two pounds in weight. Soon after the first delivery of “Netted Gem Bakers”, they were offered to diners on the North Coast Limited beginning in 1909. Word of the line’s specialty offering traveled quickly, and before long it was using “the Great Big Baked Potato” as a slogan to promote the railroad’s passenger service. When an addition was built for the Northern Pacific’s Seattle commissary in 1914, reporter wrote, “A large trade mark, in the shape of a baked potato, 40 ft.long and 18 ft. in diameter, surmounts the roof. The potato is electric lighted and its eyes, through the electric mechanism, are made to wink constantly. A cube of butter thrust into its split top glows intermittently.” Premiums such as postcards, letter openers, and spoons were also produced to promote “The Route of the Great Big Baked Potato”; the slogan served the Northern Pacific for about 50 years. The song “Great Big Baked Potato” (words by N.R. Streeter and H. Caldwell ; Music by Oliver George) was written about this potato.
Tags: Balsamic vinegar, Cooking, CooksRecipes, Food, Gnocchi, Meatless Monday, Mozzarella Cheese, Potato Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella, recipes, Tomatoes, Vegetarian
This week’s “Meatless Monday” Recipe of the Week is a Potato Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella. The name alone sounds like nothing but “delicious”. Fresh made Gnocchi topped with Tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese. The recipe is from the CooksRecipes website. The Cooks site has a large selection of recipes of all cuisines and tastes. Enjoy and eat Healthy! http://www.cooksrecipes.com/index.html
Potato Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
This is Italian comfort food—homemade potato gnocchi served with a tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Recipe created by Chef Thomas Catherall, C.M.C.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced (or 1 1/2 [28 ounces each] cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Large pinch crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 – For Gnocchi: Place the potatoes in a saucepan and add water just to the level of the potatoes. Salt the water. Bring to a boil and cook until very soft, 25 minutes. Drain well; let stand in the colander for 10 minutes.
2 – Spread the flour on your work surface. With a potato ricer or food mill fit with a medium disk, rice the warm potatoes evenly over the entire top of the the flour. Toss together lightly with your fingers to distribute the potatoes and flour evenly. Make a well in the center and add the egg. Knead to form a ball. Knead 1 minute to gather up all of the bits of flour and potato on the work surface. Cover with an inverted bowl and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
3 – Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece into a 1/2-inch-thick rope, approximately 12 inches long. Working with one rope at a time (keeping the others covered with towel), with floured hands, cut through the dough with the curved edge of a fork, every 1/2 inch. On the back edge of the fork, roll each piece forward and back, making fork indentations and shell shapes. Toss with the flour. Place on a floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
4 – Heat salted water in large Dutch oven.
5 – For Sauce: Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, wine, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the liquid begins to evaporate and the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. Puree in a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. Return to skillet.
6 – To complete the recipe, bring salted water to a boil. Cook about half of the gnocchi until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
7 – Add the cooked gnocchi to the sauce. Heat thoroughly. Toss in the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with grated cheese; serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings.
Tags: Baking, Cooking, Cooking Tips, Food, Grilling, Kitchen Hints, Potatoes, recipes, Russet Potatoes, Starch
Some reasons to love Potatoes even more………
* Just 110 calories.
* No fat, sodium or cholesterol.
* Nearly half your daily value of vitamin C.
* More potassium than a banana.
* A good source of vitamin B6.
* Fiber, magnesium and antioxidants.
* Resistant starch.
* Blood-Pressure Lowering Potential of Potatoes.
Source: Cajun Shrimp & Veggies in Foil
Source: Cinnamon Swirl Ragamuffins
Tags: Breakfast, Cooking, Eggs, Food
Started off the morning with a Poached egg on a Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin. Also had my morning cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. We had the wooden deck repainted today. We have a huge deck so it will take another day to finish it up. It’s looking good though! After Breakfast I went up to the local Kroger for a couple of items and back home. A little warmer out there today, 69 degrees and mostly sunny. Not much going on today, all caught up on all the cleaning. Went on over to see Dad for a bit and back home. Not feeling up to par, upset stomach. So no Dinner post tonight. See everyone tomorrow!!
Source: Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole
Source: Super Simple Parmesan Fish
Tags: Cauliflower, Cheese, Cheesy Cauliflower Soup, Cooking, Diabetic Gourmet Magazine, Food, recipes, Roasted Red Peppers, Soup, Soup Special of the Day
This weeks Soup Special of the Day is Cheesy Cauliflower Soup. This one combines Cauliflower, Green Onions, Chicken Broth, Roasted Red Peppers, and more! The recipe is off the Diabetic Gourmet Magazine which has a fantastic selection of Diabetic Friendly Recipes along with Diabetes News and Tips. So check the site out today. Enjoy and Eat Healthy! http://diabeticgourmet.com/
Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped green onion
4 cups chicken broth
2 packages (8 ounces each) fresh cauliflowerets
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups shredded pepper-Jack cheese (6 ounces)
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
* Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add green onions and saute about 3 minutes or until tender. Add 3 cups broth; bring to boiling. Add cauliflowerets; return to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 6 minutes or until cauliflower is almost tender.
* Whisk together flour and remaining 1 cup chicken broth in a small bowl. Stir into saucepan. Bring to boiling; cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until soup is thickened.
* Remove soup from heat. Add cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in roasted red peppers, salt if using and hot-pepper sauce, breaking up red peppers with a wooden spoon.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)