As you may recall, in the process of cooking “Always Yummy Beef,” I was left with an excess of potatoes. In trying to figure out how to use them, I remembered that wayyy back in my childhood, my mom had once (or twice) made a sliced cheesy baked potato that was almost french fry-like.
I googled around for a recipe (I also emailed/called my mom but she didn’t answer… AHEM), and ended up finding this microwave-based variation. So it lacked some of the french fry-ish crunch, but it would be done within 20 minutes. Sold.
The BEST part is that I already possessed EVERY* ingredient that I needed for this project. My meal was basically free. (And it always feels good to use things that you already own, before they expire*).
*I had to buy butter, but I was planning on doing that anyway– I use butter so slowly that my old vat had expired.
The SECOND BEST part is knowing how to really quickly achieve a baked potato.
First– you slice the potato, but not all the way through (easier said than done). Then you smear butter on it, and whatever herb you’ve got. (I had dried basil.) Microwave for 10 minutes. The potato will sound like an old, wheezing man who got locked in a sauna. But you must not let him out! And when he’s done, let him sit for another 5 minutes.
(I’m sure this isn’t true, but I was kind of afraid that it might explode if I opened the microwave during those 5 minutes… that might have been more likely if the potato hadn’t been sliced/stabbed.)
Already the potato is pretty well cooked… if you didn’t want cheese, I’m not sure if you’d even need to do the next part.
Sprinkle the potato with cheddar and parmesan. (I already had both! Ms. Cool!) I tried as best I could to get the cheese in between the slices. Then you microwave for 4-6 minutes (I chose 5), sprinkle with salt (I used kosher AND regular! I’m SO LADEN WITH INGREDIENTS!), and voila! Potato.
It was really soft and smooshy, but honestly I think I could have used more basil/salt. I ended up smothering it in ketchup, which is historically my potato go-to. (When I was a kid I just put salt, pepper, and ketchup on plain baked potatoes… what a cool cat.) I also have a couple of different spices I can try next time… Old Bay, Mrs. Dash, more pepper… (are you impressed by my spice menagerie?). But really– why mess with ketchup?
This is a great, fast solution to craving a baked potato but not wanting to spend an hour (or more) waiting for it to bake. And a great solution to using up my potatoes without having to make more “Always Yummy Beef.” (I typo’d Always Tummy Beef, which is… kind of what I want to call it from now on.)
And Mom– if you have the original recipe– hook a daughter up.