Sunday, August 9, 2009

The BEST Baked Potatoes (like Red Lobster's potatoes)

I've gotten lots of feedback from the cobbler recipe, so I decided to post a recipe for baked potatoes that I think you'll also enjoy. This is really too simple to be called a recipe, but it is delicious. In fact, I was given this preparation method from a waitress at Red Lobster who told me this is how the restaurant prepares their baked potatoes. Since my family has always been a fan of those yummy potatoes, I tried it and we all LOVED them! In fact, I haven't made baked potatoes any other way since, and that was years ago!

It's so simple...

1. Scrub baking potatoes well; cut away any bad places. Poke with a fork in several places, so that steam can escape (it will help the potatoes to bake more evenly). Let potatoes dry for a few minutes on paper towels.
2. Using a pastry brush, brush potato lightly all over with oil.
3. Sprinkle with sea salt (a medium crystal is best, but coarse or fine is often all that's available at our local store. In that case, I prefer fine, as it adheres better.)
4. Bake in a slow oven, about 300 degrees for about 2 hours. Turn halfway and rotate pan in oven also.

NOTE: Do not cover. Just place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake. I sometimes place a sheet of foil under the potatoes for easy clean-up, but I never cover each potato (like I used to), because foil keeps the moisture inside and the crust won't crisp properly. Potatoes in foil will also lose their salty crust. If you want to bake and transport (like for a supper swap), I found it best to place the potatoes in a deep casserole after baking to transport. Cover with parchment paper or paper towels instead of foil.

One last thought - I sometimes make extra potatoes to use for a meal the following night. Just refrigerate leftover potatoes after cooling. To prepare for a second meal, slice the potatoes (skin and all) into fairly large slices/pieces (maybe 12-15 pieces for a good-sized potato). Brown in a little oil and/or butter in a pan on top of the stove for DELICIOUS fried potatoes! Season with salt and pepper to taste and turn frequently to prevent burning. They are already fully-cooked, of course, and will brown beautifully! We have even used the grill to prepare in this way. Just spray a grilling pan with cooking spray or oil and place on grill. So easy and so good!

Please let me know how you like potaotes baked this way! I love your feedback and comments.

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