Quick Baked Potatoes

I love baked potatoes, but they take so long to cook. Potatoes need an hour (or more) to be tender in the middle with a crisp, crackling skin. Jacques Pepin was on the radio and advertised his baked potatoes which are done in thirty minutes or less. We rarely make baked potatoes the long way anymore.  This also works for sweet potatoes.

Recipe: Quick Baked Potatoes

Adapted From: Jacques Pepin, Fast Food My Way
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 small russet potatoes (6-8 ounces each)

Directions:

1. Start potatoes in Microwave: Turn oven to 425*F. Wash the potatoes, then poke each one three times with a fork. Microwave the potatoes on high for 6 minutes.

2. Finish potatoes in oven: Transfer the potatoes to the oven, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the skin feels crisp when a potato is squeezed. Remove from the oven and immediately cut a slice the top of the potato to let the steam escape. Squeeze from the ends to fluff up, and serve.

Variation for Large Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes:

Large potatoes, 12 to 16 ounces: microwave for 8 to 10 minutes before transferring to the oven, and bake for 25 minutes.

Notes:

*Salt and pepper the potatoes once they are split open. Garnish with one or more of: shredded cheese, sour cream, chives, bacon bits, jalapenos. Or a pat of butter. Or, my favorite, a pan sauce from sauteed pork chops.
*Find good, clean potatoes for this recipe. Baked potatoes work best when they’re whole. The skin traps the steam inside, making the inside fluffy and tender. If you have to remove bruises or eyes, then the steam will escape, and the potatoes won’t bake as well.