Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baker's Potatoes

Forget the butter, the sour cream, the soy bacon, the chives...forget all of that. Here is a magnificent baked potato recipe you will never have to embellish.

The recipe "Baker's Potatoes" is featured in one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Bon Appetit, Y'all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking, by the very talented Virginia Willis. As evident through all my entries, I never duplicate recipes in this blog, especially ones from copyrighted books, so I can only tell you about the recipe. In this French-influenced dish, peeled potatoes are sliced thinly--though not all the way down, not enough to sever the slices from one another--and oven-baked in sliced onions, herbs, garlic, and vegetable broth. The recipe actually calls for chicken broth, but I used a carton of Imagine Foods vegetable stock. It's the best thing besides actually making a bullion from scratch (which, if you would like to do, the best recipe for veggie bullion I have ever seen is in Cook's Library Vegetarian).

When I first saw the broth-and-onion mixture in the picture in the book, I was skeptical about how much I'd enjoy eating baked potatoes surrounded by juice-covered onion slices. However, after a couple of bites, the mix was so delicious that I took my plate back to the dish and started scooping out more broth onto the potatoes. Additionally, it's important to note that the slices in the potatoes allow for them to absorb all of the herbs and broth while soaking, so every bite is full of flavor. I didn't change a thing in the recipe, except that I did add some multicolored peppercorn and spicy garlic for seasoning.

I made these for dinner last night, and both Ty and I were so surprised at how much we loved them. The generous forty-five minutes in the oven still prevents the potatoes from becoming too soft or overcooked. We both had seconds...and thirds...and then leftovers today! Forget the baked potatoes you have previously eaten--these delicious thyme-and-broth soaked potatoes are delightfully seasoned side dishes that will perfectly complement any dinner and thrill your taste buds.

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