Stuffed Baked Potato Tips
Should I poke holes in my potato before I bake it?
Yes. Always poke a few holes in the skins of your potatoes with a fork before baking. Potatoes, especially smaller varieties, contain lots of moisture. As the potato bakes, the water converts to steam. A few quick jabs are all it takes to allow that steam to escape naturally from your baked potato recipes
. If too much water vapor pressure builds up inside your potato, you may end up with a messy spud explosion. You can also try slicing a cross-shape into your potatoes, about 1/4 inch thick, for supremely fluffy jacket potatoes
Do I have to wrap a potato in aluminum before I put it in the oven?
There’s no need to wrap a potato in aluminum foil to bake it. Your best bet is to place it directly on the oven rack. Foil can trap steam, creating a potato with skin that is soggy instead of crisp. Unless a recipe specifically instructs to wrap a potato in foil, it's fine to skip it. — Amy Glander, Book Editor
Ranch Stuffed Baked Potatoes:
Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons ranch salad dressing mix into the sour cream before adding to the mashed potato pulp. Fold in 3 crumbled cooked bacon strips along with the cheese.
Tex-Mex Stuffed Baked Potatoes: Omit green onions, 1/4 cup butter and paprika. Stir in 1 can (4 ounces) drained chopped green chilies. Fold in 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese in place of the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder if desired.
Herb-Stuffed Baked Potatoes: Stir in 2 tablespoons each minced chives and parsley along with the green onion. Use 1 cup shredded mozzarella in place of cheddar cheese.
Potatoes may be stuffed ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Allow additional time for reheating.
1 each: 416 calories, 26g fat (17g saturated fat), 84mg cholesterol, 693mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 9g protein.