Crusty outtards, fluffy innards, baked potatoes topped with tangy, buttery, soft delicious muddles of feta.
One potato, two potato, three potato, more.....please.
What is it about baked potatoes? They're nothing special, but they're always so good, or they just hit the spot, perfectly, and they carry our cravings off to classy steakhouses or old-time childhood meals.
Quite amazing the power within this humble, everyday veggie, so easily prepared.
Another thing is, it seems impossible to go wrong with a baked potato, whether we eagerly add a big dollop of butter and just salt and pepper, or go for the gusto with butter, sour cream, bacon bits and chives. Not to forget those that are twice baked or garlic smashed.
But today, just to mix things up a bit, I am going to urge you to give your potatoes an olive oil and sea salt spa rub before baking, creating a crusty skin that adds that certain je ne c'est quoi to complement the soft, creamy whipped feta, cream cheese, butter topping.
The word 'plush' pops into my thought bubble when I have these potatoes.
"Dear Potato, you glorious, buxom tuber of the Earth, how we do love thee. Thanks for being you. See you again soon. Love, Judi"
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Adapted from Ina Garten, Make It Ahead cookbook
for The Last Wonton. Thanks oodles and oodles, once again, lovely Ina!
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BAKED POTATOES WITH WHIPPED FETA - Serves 4
4 good-size Idaho or russet baking potatoes
2-3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Chopped fresh chives or green onions
6 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) creamy Greek or Bulgarian feta, crumbled
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash or two of sea salt
Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub the potatoes, dry them well, and pierce them all over with the tines of a fork. Mix together olive oil and salt and rub all over each potato. Bake for 50-65 minutes, until tender. Slit the top of each potato, squeeze ends together to open potato, and top with a generous scoop of whipped feta. Sprinkle with chives or green onions and serve hot with extra whipped feta on the side. Plush!
Whipped Feta: Place the feta, butter, cream cheese salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until creamy, dreamy, smooth. Refrigerate if not using right away, but be sure to let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour before serving.
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