Sometimes this common vegetable seems to get lost in the shuffle of the meal. Can’t think of a good side dish? Throw a potato in the oven or microwave and serve with sour cream. But what if you put just a little more thought into it, and the simple baked potato became the star of your meal?
Finely Minced Small Onion
A very important rule is that it does not matter what size of potatoes you choose, as long as they are all pretty much the same size. A small one is going to cook much faster than a large one so various sizes mean some will either be raw or overcooked.
Lay your potato with the flattest side down. This gives you a little bit of stability. Using a good knife, slice from one side to another WITHOUT going all the way though. You want it to look like a fan. Each cut should be about 1/4 inch thick.
Set them to the side and mince your onion. The pieces must be as small as you can get them. If your knife skills are not that good (mine certainly aren’t) pull out a grater or food processor.
Tear off pieces of tin foil big enough to wrap the potato in. Lay each tater on a piece and begin stuffing it with the onions. Next drizzle oil on each potato. You only need enough to make the salt stick so I use this plastic ketchup bottle and fill it with canola oil. It makes it easy to control how much oil I use. If you want a little more BAM on your baked potato you can also use melted butter, olive oil or even bacon grease. Whatever sounds good and you happen to have on hand.
Sprinkle salt on top of the oil. Some of it will have run down the layers and the salt will get in there as well. I have measured and 1/8 of a tsp was a little more than I needed for a medium-sized potato. When I sprinkle however, I don’t measure. Don’t worry if some ends up on the foil as it will end up on the skin as it bakes.
A dash of fresh cracked black pepper finishes them off. Roll each one up in the tin foil and place in a 400 degree, preheated oven. I prefer to use my baking stone and place the bundles on that. The stone absorbs and maintains the heat and helps cook the potatoes faster. When only doing a few potatoes I have also used my cast iron skillet. A mere 45 minutes later they were done. But the time will vary depending on the size of the potatoes you are cooking!
These are great just as they are, or you can add more toppings of your choice. Stuff a little cooked bacon or finely grated cheese in with the onions before you bake them or your favorite herb. Serve with sour cream and it will ooze down into each section so you get a taste with every bite. If you have a main dish with some sauce, pout it n top of the potato. However you decide to finish it off, you will realize your potato is starting with far more flavor than your typical baked potato.