Baked potatoes, such an easy dinner staple, right? Stick a fork in a potato a few times, pop it in the oven (or microwave, if you're impatient!) and you're good to go. They're such a favorite because they're almost endlessly customizable; some folks like plain butter, others prefer loaded with sour cream, cheese, bacon and more and the options don't even end there. But, we all cook them the same ... or do we? Well, Tonia, the cooking genius at The Gunny Sack, has an entirely different method to produce what just might be the most perfect baked potatoes known to man.
Behold, the Bloomin' Baked Potato!
Much like the famous Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse, this potato is cut in such a way that it opens up just like a flower. Tonia said she was inspired by a recipe she'd made a month earlier: "We had so much fun with the Bloomin' Baked Apples ... that my whole family decided that we needed to make some more bloomin' recipes. We tossed around ideas for other things that could be cut in a similar way and we decided on potatoes!"
To start, just grab the necessary number of your favorite potatoes and slice off a thin layer to make a flat top.
Tonia used Yukon Gold, but Russet and Idaho potatoes are also ideal for baking.
Then, using a small, thin and flexible knife, cut rings into the potato.
The number of rings needed will depend on the size of your potatoes.
Next, flip your potato over and make cuts all the way around it.
Be careful to leave a small area at the center of the potato uncut; otherwise, your potato will simply fall apart!
When you've cut around the whole potato, flip it back over and make sure that you've made your cuts deep enough.
It's also important to make sure that you've made enough cuts. If you see any sections that are noticeably bigger than others, a few more slices might be necessary.
Now it's time to transfer the potatoes to a bowl or baking tray and grab your olive oil and sea salt.
Brush the potatoes with olive oil until coated and then sprinkle a little sea salt all over.
Your potatoes are ready to cook!
Place the potatoes on foil and pop them in the oven! Bake them for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
After 30 minutes in the oven, take the potatoes out and brush with some extra olive oil and sprinkle some more sea salt.
Return them to the oven for another 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, take out your crispy potatoes and gaze at your baked perfection!
But, wait ... we're not yet done.
Sprinkle some cheese on top and stick the potatoes back in the oven.
Leave them to cook for five minutes longer.
That mere five minutes will melt and toast the cheese to perfection.
Once all the cheese is good and melty, remove your taters from the oven for the last time.
Finally, top them with any additions that suit you. Sour cream, bacon, broccoli, butter or anything else … the possibilities are endless!
"Baked potatoes are good anyway, but then when you cut them, cover them with oil and salt and top them with cheese and bacon, you know they have to be delicious!"
Truer words have never been spoken.