Oven Baked Jacket Potatoes

Delicious, very filling and inexpensive, jacket potatoes are one of my favorite foods and one of the potato recipes I cook quite often. I usually have them in restaurants, but I don’t shy away from cooking them at home, either. Baking the perfect jacket potatoes is not so much of a challenge. All you need is an oven, some tin foil, a fork and, of course, the potato. Other ingredients are optional, so you can make up your own recipe, as you’ll see in a moment. As of the cooking time, if you go for the microwave method, you can expect your meal to be ready in as little as 15 minutes. However, if you prefer the classic oven baking, that would take at least 90 minutes.

I like the jacket potatoes with cheese filling and with mayonnaise on top.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Take two medium-large potatoes. Wash and dry them. Prick them all over with a fork, then wrap them in tin foil. Bake them in the oven for 90 minutes.

Now you can either cut them open and add the fillings of your choice or you can go for the stuffed jacket, which means scooping the insides of the potatoes, mashing them with crumbled cheese and butter, then putting the filling back in jackets. You can also add small cubes of ham or bacon. Sprinkle cheese on top and return to the oven for two minutes more. Serve immediately. Stuffed jacket potatoes are awesome with a topping of mayonnaise or sour cream and with freshly ground pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-large potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup cheese, grated or crumbled (choose your favorite cheese, all of them are as good)
  • 1/2 cup diced ham or bacon (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or mayonnaise
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Cold Baked Potato Salad

Cold baked potato salad

Cold baked potato salad


Potato salads are great side dishes as well as appetizers. Served in nice presentation forms, they can make awesome party foods.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 2 onions, peeled, sliced
  • 3 eggs, boiled hard
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 bacon slices, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 20-30 black olives, cored
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt, pepper to taste

Preparation:
Heat the oven at 350F. Bake the potatoes for 60 minutes. Try them with a fork to see if they are done. If the fork doesn’t go in easily, extend the baking time by 10-15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them cool. If you want them to cool faster, you can immerse them in cold water.

Boil the eggs hard. This means that after the water starts to boil, you need to cook them for 15 minutes.

After the eggs are cooked, let them cool and slice them thin. Peel and slice the onion. Cut the olives in quarters. Peel and dice the baked potatoes in chunks of about 1.5 inch thick. Dice the bacon and the red bell pepper. Put all these in a large bowl, add mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix gently until the mayonnaise – vinegar combination forms a film that covers all other ingredients. If needed, add more mayonnaise.

Refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes before serving.

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes are nothing else than stuffed jacket potatoes returned to the oven after the inside has been mixed with various fillings such as cheese, egg or bacon. Not only are these potatoes delicious, they are also festive, therefore they can make a hit at Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, or at any other celebration.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 3 large baking potatoes (choose healthy ones, with nice skin)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 bacon slices
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Clean and dry the potatoes, then bake them for about one hour.

Fry the bacon slices in a skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side. When they are nicely browned, remove from the pan and drain them on paper towels. Crumble them and set them aside. It’s nicer to first brown, then crumble the bacon, because if you do otherwise, it will retain too much oil.

When the potatoes are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes, then cut them in halves lengthwise. Scoop the interior carefully in a large bowl, leaving the skin intact. Don’t throw away the skins, we are going to need them later on.

Add sour cream, salt, pepper, butter, half the green onions amount and half the cheese to the bowl with potato flesh. Mix well until the composition gets creamy and uniform. You can use a hand mixer, it’s much faster than the manual way.

Spoon the creamy mixture back into the potato shells. Top with the remaining sour cream, onions and bacon. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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Bacon Potato Soup

Warm and comforting, this potato soup recipe is the perfect special treat for winter time.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 thick bacon slices
  • 1 celery root, peeled, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, shredded
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 5-6 potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Fill a large stock pot with water, bring it to boil, then add the onion, garlic, celery root, beans, potatoes, carrots, vegetable bouillon and sauerkraut. Cover and boil over low to medium heat until vegetables are soft. If you diced them small, 15-20 minutes should be enough. Anyway, try them with a fork after the first 15 minutes and see if it goes in easily. Depending of how salty your sauerkraut was, you may or may not need to add some salt to the soup.

While the soup is boiling, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the bacon slices for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Drain the excess oil by setting the bacon slices on paper towels. Dice the bacon and set aside.

When vegetables are soft, add the chopped parsley, bacon and sour cream. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot, with freshly ground black pepper and fresh chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

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Traditional Quiche Lorraine

Quiche is a dish originating from France, specifically from a region called Lorraine. This is why it is mostly known as Quiche Lorraine, although it is popular not only across all France but also in many countries, from Portugal to New Zealand. The traditional quiche Lorraine contains bacon and heavy cream, but if you want a low-fat variant, you can use ham and yogurt instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 6-7 bacon slices
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 400F and bake the pie crust for 30 minutes. Dice the bacon. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the diced bacon and brown it for 5-6 minutes.

Beat the eggs, add the heavy cream, the milk, the salt and the pepper. Mix everything well, then pour the custard over the pie crust. Take care not to completely fill the baking dish. There should be about 1/4 pan height free space for the mixture to expand.

Bake the quiche over 300F for about 30 minutes. Spread nutmeg on top. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Bacon Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients for 4-5 servings:

  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 celery root, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 4 bacon slices, crispy, freshly cooked, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups water

Directions:
In a covered pot, boil the onion, potatoes, celery and parsnip in salty water for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the carrot and the bacon and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat. Serve hot, topped with sour cream and fresh parsley.

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Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes

Macaroni cheese is such a great dish! Not only the basic mac & cheese recipe is delicious, but also its variations are really good. For example, bacon and tomatoes give it an awesome flavor, turning it into a complete meal for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4-5 bacon slices (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded (you can use a mix of various cheeses if you want)
  • 2 average size tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a big pot, cook the pasta in boiling salty water, as per instructions on the pack.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and brown the onion for about 2-3 minutes. Cook the bacon until it becomes crispy, then remove it from the pan. Add flour, salt and pepper to the browned onion, then gradually add the milk, while stirring frequently. Bring it to a boil, them lower the heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, add the cheese and stir until it melts and blends into the mix.

Drain the pasta very well, return it into the pot, then add the cheese mixture and the crumbled bacon to it. Blend well and transfer in a greased casserole. Bake it uncovered for 15-20 minutes, then arrange the tomato slices on top of the food and put it back in the oven. Let it bake for maximum 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

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