May 4th, 2012
Cheesy Baked Jacket Potatoes
Potatoes are so impressionable, pure and plain in character that I become a little picky and particular about the way they are cooked. These tubers are so mouldable that they can be easily led to take on the disposition that you want, based on the manner you treat them. And that is the reason the spices used and the manner of cooking them gets deeply embedded into their personality!
Take these jacket potatoes with cheese for instance. They are cooked in a very simple manner with very few ingredients yet they look and taste exquisite! These baked potatoes are crispy outside and soft and tender inside. Stuffed with natural cheese and grilled to finish them make them particularly irresistible!
Potatoes are particularly irresistible when baked. All their goodness is retained within their skin and this particular attribute gives them an extra dimension of taste as opposed to steaming, sauteing or boiling them where there is a certain loss of character through evaporation or leaching of their inner qualities.
I love eating tucking into these potatoes with their skin intact and the gooey melted cheese in every morsel! The entire combination of the potato skin, potato meal and natural cheese is utter comfort to me. I usually serve these potatoes with hot soup, grilled vegetables or salad on Ekadashi, when we fast from grains and beans. Add a grain dish made with quinoa, couscous or savoury semolina and you have a great menu.
I hope I have succeeded in convincing you about the merits of these supremely delicious potatoes which also happen to be a breeze to make. Now wash some potatoes, dry them and dress them with some good quality olive oil and salt, shove them into the oven for an hour and forget about them. Go for a walk, read a book, groove to some great music or finish your other preparations in the kitchen when they are being cooked. Take them out, allow to cool, slit and stuff with cheese and herbs and grill them again and you are done! Now go ahead and make them!
Cheesy Baked Jacket Potatoes Recipe
Choose nice potatoes which are not relatively new for this dish. You could use a variety of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, gouda or monterey jack or stick to good old cheddar. You could also use a mix of different herbs here.
12 medium or large potatoes
sea salt or regular salt
100 gm vegetarian cheddar cheese, grated
100 gm vegetarian gouda cheese, grated
dried herbs like oregano and parsley
fleur de sel or regular salt
paprika flakes (optional)
Scrub and clean the potatoes well (placing them in a hot tub of water helps to get rid of the dirt and grime easily).
Brush the potatoes generously with olive oil and salt. Don’t skimp on the oil if you want a crispy skin and dont skimp with the salt either, if you want tasty potatoes.
Bake in a hot oven at 200C/400F for about 45 minutes, until done. * Allow to cool.
In a bowl, mix the cheese, herbs and a little salt if required.
With the help of a knife, slit open the potatoes in the centre, keeping the base of the potatoes intact and stuff them with the prepared cheese mixture.
Grill the potatoes in a hot oven at 200C/400F until the cheese melts and is a little browned.
Serve hot with soup, salad and bread.
* Every oven is different. Depending on your oven and the size of your potatoes, the cooking time can vary between 45 minutes to an hour.