Potato. One of my favorite vegetables. I can eat it boiled, grilled, fried, steamed or baked. With or without the skin. It is so versatile that it can accompany meat or fish. It can even be a meal by itself. If you have large potatoes, one cheesy baked potato crispy bacon can be a very filling and satisfying meal by itself.
What is a large potato? One that is as large as my fist. Is there any particular variety of potato that is best for baking? I’m not really familiar with potato varieties. There are only three kinds sold in local markets and they go by the size — large ones for making French fries, medium ones for stews and small ones, or what we call pearl potatoes, for salads. As far as I am concerned, any kind of potato can be baked and served just like what you see in the photo as long as it is the right size.
- 3 large potatoes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter cubed
- 3/4 cup grated or melted cheese (I used mild cheddar)
- 1/2 cup crumbled fried crispy bacon
- Wash the potatoes. If visible specks of soil cling to the skin, use a clean soft brush to scrub off the soil.
- Dry the potatoes with kitchen paper and place in a bowl. Pour in the vegetable oil. Add the salt. Toss to coat the potatoes evenly with the oil and salt.
- With a fork, pierce each potato (about half an an inch deep) eight to ten times. These holes will serve as steam vents to prevent the build up of steam inside the potatoes which may cause them to burst during baking.
- Place in the rack of your oven (I used a turbo broiler). For easy clean-up, place a piece of foil underneath to catch the drippings. Bake at 350F. Depending on the size of the potatoes, this should take an hour to two hours. Check after an hour. If a pointed knife goes all the way through the center without resistance, the potatoes are done.
- Make a cross cut, about an inch deep in the middle, on one side of each potato.
- Place your thumb, forefinger and middle finger on each end of the potato and push in to open it up. Do this in one swift motion to avoid scorching your fingers.
- Insert a cube of butter at the center of each potato pushing it in.
- Place a potato on a plate. Smother with grated (or melted cheese) then top with bacon.
- Serve your cheesy baked potatoes with crisp bacon at once.
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