University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The perfect baked potato

Why ruin a perfectly simple jacket potato by shoving it in the microwave for 10 minutes and making it soggy!? For some reason I am far better at using the hob or the oven than a microwave anyway, since every time I use the microwave for my porridge it ends up exploding all down the side of the bowl, and in the case of the famous jacket potato - no matter what I do, whenever I bake it in the microwave the skin wrinkles and goes tough. Although I like jacket potatoes when my mum bakes them in the microwave, I think it's safe to say that everyone loves a fluffy potato with a crisp, flavoursome skin. And here is how...

You will need a jacket potato, olive oil, salt and any other seasoning you like.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 6. Prick the potato with a fork or knife (this is very important - my dad once caused a potato explosion in the oven for not doing this...). Place the potato on a baking tray and brush with olive oil so the whole skin is coated. Sprinkle with salt and any other seasoning (like pepper, season all or fresh or dried herbs), and turn so that the whole potato is covered with seasoning. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes - 2 hours. Turn halfway through cooking. The potato will be done when it looks brown in colour and crisp - stick a knife in the potato to check it is cooked through. Don't forget to extend the time if you are baking lots of potatoes at once or if it is particularly large!

Jacket potato toppings:
- Butter
- Any cheese
- Pesto
- Soured cream and chives
- Tuna mayo
- Egg mayo
- Sweetcorn
- Bacon and leek
- Fried onion and mushrooms
- Baked beans
- Coleslaw
- Chilli
- Cottage cheese
- Any flavoured spread like Philadelphia
- Chicken and garlic mayo

You can obviously mix and match any of these toppings to get some delicious flavours
Some of my favourites are:
- Green pesto and cheddar
- Brie and bacon
- Tuna mayo and mozzarella
- Sweetcorn, mushrooms with soured cream and chives
- The classic cheese and beans!

Enjoy :)

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