Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jacket potatoes

Been really depressed lately, and don't feel like cooking. But I cant keep the husband on frozen pizza forever, so i try to do something simple that can work itself out in the oven.
Which brings us to potatoes- I usually have a stock of boiled potatoes in the fridge, as taught by an older aunt in my infancy. Thrown with spices and coupled with other vegetables/meat can get a full meal on your table in a few minutes.
But baking a potato is a different deal. There are myriad opinions on what are the best potatoes for this, but most recipes call for large, thick skinned potatoes, and all take about 2 hours to do- that's way too much time for me. Plus, I dont like their hard casings- they just dont crisp up as well.
Quite by accident, I started using the long white potato, also known as White Rose/California Long White/ American Giant and Wisconsin Pride. It is an oval shaped potato with a thin outer skin that is light tan in color and smooth overall with few, very small eyes. The inner meat of the White Rose has a medium starch level, and I find that it stands up well to most cooking processes, resulting in a firm and creamy cooked product.

photo source:

Choose potatoes that are firm and plump, avoiding those that have shriveled skins, sprouting eyes, soft spots, blemishes, and green spots. Store in a cool dry place- NEVER the refrigerator. They will keep at room temperature for up to two weeks or longer.

I figured that because of the thin skin, chances were this would cook faster as well, and it did- total cooking time- 1 hour (including prep), half of the usual time.

- long white potatoes, as many as you want to do
- light olive oil, butter, salt and pepper to taste.

- Thin cut chives, sour cream, bacon bits, salsa, tapenade, garlic salt.


  • Turn the oven on to about 425 degrees, and let it warm up.
  • Important: Wash the potatoes, and gently remove any dirt, then dry REALLY WELL on paper/cloth towels.
  • Important: Wrap up potatoes individually , and really tightly in aluminium foil pieces.
  • Throw in the potatoes in the oven, and walk away for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, take out one of your tin-foiled potatoes, gently open (so as to not tear the foil- you may need to put it back)- and insert a thin knife/chopstick through the thickest part- if it cuts through without much resistance, the potato is done.
  • In this state, the potatoes can be stored in the fridge for easily a week, without a problem, but the jacket potato is best eaten straight from the oven.

2 Ways to serve this:

1- Serve one potato per person, and let them open the foil jackets, which will keep the potato warm. I like this with lots of butter, salt and pepper, but you can of course go the traditional way, and serve with all the optional accompaniments.

2- If you want to fancy this up:

-take the potatoes out of the foil when cooked, and prick all over with a fork.
- Baste the potatoes with olive oil and butter, and sprinkle with garlic salt/seasoned salt/reg salt and pepper.
- Replace into the oven (without any foil) at 450 degrees, for 5 minutes, turning the potatoes once.
- 5 minutes later, the potatoes' would crisp up all over and go slightly red/brown. Take out , split in half, and serve with more butter and the optional accompaniments if desired.

The baked potatoes in the fridge

  • Cooking and storing these is not a good idea, but if you are doing this, unwrap from foil and reheat in a microwave for about 3 minutes on high. THEN throw into a 425-450 degree oven to crisp up for about 5 minutes (serving method 2 above).
  • Extra potatoes make great mashed potatoes/hash browns/croquettes, so there is no waste :)

PS: No photos- only remembered after they were eaten!

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