In the US, potatoes are typically baked, slathered with something gooey and served as a side dish. In the UK, ‘jacket potatoes’ as they’re called, are often the meal itself – topped with anything that you can imagine over rice or inside an omelet.
Jacket potatoes are great because they’re cheap, tasty, easy to prepare, filling, and your toppings are endless. Start by scanning your fridge to see what you’ve got. Need some inspiration? Here are a few ideas:
- Baked beans & cheese (UK classic)
- Chili and cheese
- Sauted mushrooms and cheese
- Bolognese sauce with meat and mushrooms
- Ham, corn, tomatoes, and cheese
- Salsa, guacamole, black beans, and sour cream
- Leftover takeout curry
- Salmon and cream cheese
- Broccoli and cheese
- Sauted veggies (whatever is on sale) – think stir fry on a potato
Be creative with your potato toppings. Really anything goes.
Have a potato bar
Let everyone create their own potato. Just pre-cook some potatoes and keep them warm. Assemble a series of bowls with toppings such as: cheese, corn, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, ham or black beans. At dinner time, guests can line up, split open a potato, and top as they desire. This is a great dish to serve when your guest list includes kids, adults, vegetarians, and meat lovers. Everyone will be happy.
Sans aluminum foil
Instead of wrapping your baked potatoes in aluminum foil, try leaving them unwrapped using Delia Smith’s technique for crispy skin.
What do you like on your potato? Leave a comment with your ideas.