The humble spud. A divine medium to be elevated, cajoled, flourished, transformed in whatever direction you chose. Mash, Champ, Deep-fry, Roast, Gratin, Dauphinoise, Hasselback, Gnocchi, Rosti, Hash, Boxty or as is here kept simple and straightforward baked in its skin until a crispy edible shell beholds a smooth creamy innard that deserves to be adorned. Here I crown it with Irish Wicklow Blue Brie, Cranberry Sauce and a garnish of chives which will be a simple way come Christmas time to use up that extravagant cheese-board selection and those extra jars of ‘just in case’ cranberry sauce.
In my cookbook Enjoy! I offer 8 alternative ways to serve baked potatoes and it makes a fabulously easy Saturday supper.
Eight Ways with Baked Potatoes
You will need / Method:
Large baking potatoes (I normally use Roosters)
Pre-heat oven to 200oC
Bake scrubbed potatoes (skin on) for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on size) (push a knife into the centre and it should glide easily when done)
Then indulge with lashings of melted butter, salt and pepper
Or serve in any of the 8 following ways:
- Heated kidney beans with chopped red chilli, sprinkled with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and finished with a dollop of Greek yoghurt
- Spiced ratatouille – soften some chopped onions, garlic, peppers and celery in oil with a dash of smoked paprika
- Herby lentils – simply soften a chopped onion in a little oil with some herbes de Provence, then add a tin of drained lentils and heat it through
- Brie, cranberry sauce and rocket leaves
- Crispy fried pancetta, grated Parmesan and rocket leaves
- Basil pesto and diced cooked chicken breast with halved cherry tomatoes
- Garlic butter and peppered sweetcorn kernels – heat a tin of sweetcorn, add a knob of garlic butter and season generously with freshly ground salt and black pepper