I'm not much of a baked potato guy, but for some reason I have a soft spot for jacket potatoes. Both are just potatoes baked in an oven and topped with an ingredient, so what's the difference, you ask?
Jacket potatoes are English, and have a little bit of a sense of humor. When the English are tired of just topping baked potatoes with sour cream and chives, they go bonkers. Check out some of these sites dedicated to the odd art of topping jacket potatoes.
Choosing one was incredibly hard, and I'm a little surprised I jumped back across the pond to pick this recipe from Food & Wine. It's earthy, rich, and comforting, even though it's not all that fatty. It also became a clearing house for the whole heap of mushrooms hanging out in my fridge. Using only one kind is fine too.
I still think that this recipe, despite being from an American magazine, has more in common with the English approach: using the potato as a blank canvas for a variety of toppings. And it's still more fun to call them "jacket potatoes."
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 1 tablespoon Canola oil, plus a teaspoon for coating the potatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms (cremini, shitake, and oyster are recommended)
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- Handful of parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Poke some holes in the potatoes with a fork, and then rub them with a little canola oil. Place in the oven and cook until very tender, about an hour.
While those are cooking, pour 1 tablespoon of the Canola oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the butter. When that has melted, toss in the in the onion. Cook until soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Dump in the mushrooms. Cook until they release their water, about six minutes or so.
Pour in the wine, and scrap up anything that's stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add the tarragon and thyme, and cook until slightly thickened. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the potatoes from the oven. Cut a slit on top of the potatoes and squeeze the base of the potatoes to fluff them up a bit. Season inside of the potato with a little salt, and then spoon on the sauce. Serve with a little sprinkled parsley.