Since it takes time to cook the perfect baked potato I always throw a few extra in the oven to repurpose later in the week. And what better way to repurpose than to stuff it full of yummy ingredients and then bake again? But before I get into the gluten free recipe for these Vegan Horseradish Mushroom Twice Baked Potatoes, let’s just discuss what is, in my humble opinion, the way to get the perfect baked potato.
It’s not complicated. It doesn’t even require a whole lot of hands-on work. In fact it is so simple I am almost remiss to bring it up, but as I have eaten a lot of less than perfect baked potatoes in my life, bring it up I shall.
First let’s talk about the potato. I do love all those almost buttery potatoes like Yukon Golds. I love red potatoes, blue potatoes and even purple ones; I just don’t love them for baking. What I love for baked potatoes is your standard, garden variety russets. Russets have a thick, brown skin, high starch and low moisture content which yields a light, full center. I like to buy big ones that feel a little heavy for their size.
Now despite what your mama or best friend told you about baking potatoes, do not wrap them in foil! The foil traps too much of the moisture and makes them mushy, not fluffy. In order to release the extra moisture in the potato while it bakes, you need to pierce it with the prongs of a fork in several places (like 8 – 10) and I don’t mean a gentle little poke – push the prongs of that fork way into the potato, let it know you mean business.
As you probably know, most of the nutrients of the potato are in the skin, so why not make the skin worthy of being eaten? I rub my potatoes in olive oil and generously (and I do mean generously) coat them with coarse salt. This results in crispy, delicious skin that is almost as good as the innards!
There are just some things in life I feel passionate about and proper baked potatoes is one of the. Here’s how to make the Perfect Baked Potato:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees.
Start with LARGE russet potatoes; scrub them under cold, running water. Dry the skins well. Take a fork and pierce them 8 – 10 times, sticking the fork in as far as you can get it. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl on a plate and pour on some olive or vegetable oil. Turn the potatoes round and round to totally coat them (yes, your hands will get oily). Then sprinkle with a generous amount of kosher or sea salt.
Place the potatoes directly on the rack of the oven (do not place on a baking sheet and under no circumstances do you wrap your potatoes in foil!). If you are worried about the oil dripping in your oven, place a baking sheet on a rack under the potatoes but DO NOT place the potatoes on the baking sheet (didn’t I just say that? Yep! See… that’s how serious I am about it). Bake for 1 hour for 4 potatoes, if more than 4 add 15 minutes. Test your potatoes for doneness – the…