The baked potato. Perfect, yet so humble. An age-old comfort food that still ranks high on my list, second only to mashed potatoes. For the past several weeks at the Farmers Market, Full Circle Farm has had russet potatoes that are the ultimate in baking potatoes. Half of the fun is choosing your toppings. I use loads of butter, salt & pepper, sour cream, if I have it, and this time of year, chopped chives. Local butter and sour cream are available in many grocery stores. I use Wilcox, which is local and organic but unfortunately they are closing their dairy division at the end of March.
To bake a potato, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub one potato per person to remove any soil. Prick each potato once or twice with a fork to release some of the steam as it is baking. No foil, no oil needed. Set in the oven and bake for an hour .
Now go and check your email and catch up on your favorite blogs. After an hour or so, prick again with your fork. You can feel the soft texture inside the skin when it it done. Better to err on the side of overdone than underdone. The larger the potato, the longer it takes to cook. Eat immediately. Be creative with your toppings if you like. You can devour the entire potato–skin and all.