Serious Eats: Recipes

Essentials: Potatoes Baked and Twice-Baked

Yesterday I was glad that Lucy alerted us to the existence of Totally Baked (something has been done to the Dining Section online, and now I am bad about seeing Food Stuff). Recently I was craving a baked potato on a night when I had no patience for cooking and no potatoes in the house, so I ran out to get one at a Hell’s Kitchen establishment that will remain nameless. It was gummy, hard in the middle, and totally disappointing. Now I have another spot to try.

A well-baked potato with the right toppings offers an amount of pleasure disproportionate to the raw ingredients cost, especially with a green salad on the side. It also involves very little active time and kitchen cleanup. For these reasons it was one of my favorite dinners senior year of college, when I was cooking for myself at a school not really equipped for independent eaters. I knew how to bake potatoes, roast vegetables, steam broccoli, whisk together a vinaigrette, and make beans and rice out of a box. Oh, and heat up a can of soup. It must have been a little monotonous, but in retrospect I think I ate very well.

Now when baked potatoes are on my menu I make extra for later to use as twice-baked potatoes, and recently I discovered a way to bake the hollowed-out skins that makes them almost as delicious as potato chips.

About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.

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