It is perhaps the final consolation food: a potato roasted in the oven for so long that it’s far nearly forgotten, till its pores and skin blisters and cracks open, mouth-burning steam pour out and the smooth insides then slathered with butter and almost anything else you may get hold of.
I keep in mind, as a baby, being dropped off at my auntie’s residence during the summer season holidays when my mum changed into work. She could gradual-roast purplish potatoes the dimensions of my fist, stuffing them with unholy amounts of butter, bloodless cottage cheese, sweetcorn, and perhaps a few tuna. A stodgier, budget version of Proust’s madeleine, each time I eat a jacket potato now, it’s far made within the same way, and it suddenly brings back the ones rose-tinted reminiscences – even though it by no means quite tastes as it did before.
With the information that Spudulike, the jacket potato excessive-avenue chain, is closing its 37 branches for desirable on Friday, we requested cooks, meal writers, and our readers about their personal spud tales and their ultimate toppings from traditional beans and cheese to whipped pig fats or seaweed.
‘You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – it’s a consolation meal.’
My preferred topping is beans, cheese, and butter. Bake the potato inside the oven on its personal, after which add the salted butter – a fair amount of it – the beans, which have to be Heinz, and then mature cheddar. My daughter likes them without butter, mozzarella, and tomatoes – which is just incorrect.
You don’t want to reinvent the wheel; the jacket potato is consolation meals, so preserve it simple, don’t fanny about. Having stated that, the satisfactory one I ever had changed into in Tuscany, in which this restaurant I went to had wrapped the potato in tin foil, baked it, and then topped it with hundreds of whipped lardo, that is pig fats. It turned delicious.
‘An absolute staple for plant-primarily based eaters at the pass.’
A baked potato with simple beans is often the only vegan option at neighborhood cafes or your nan’s residence. Therefore, it’s far an absolute staple for plant-based eaters on the pass. I like my potatoes microwaved (because who can be afflicted to cook dinner them in the oven?) with cuts crisscrossed on the pinnacle, a facet of spinach, and included with beans and vegan cheese.
‘The perfect antidote to rain and gray skies.’
Meriel Armitage, founder of Club Mexicana
I grew up inside the north-west of England, so jacket potatoes had been an absolute staple – they had been the ideal antidote to the rain and grey skies. I bear in mind there was a Spudulike near Piccadilly station; it became like a “welcome to Manchester” beacon; steam could come out of the front door whenever it was opened, and you can barely see inner due to the fact the windows have been so foggy.
I have three favorite youth memories of baked potatoes that are all vegan: “tuna mayo” and sweetcorn, my baked bean “hotpot” recipe, devised when I changed into eight years old, and “chili con Carne” and cheese. For the tuna mayonnaise, mash-up chickpeas, vegan mayo, seaweed, capers, pink onion, sweetcorn, spring onion, dill, and mustard. The baked bean hotpot does what it says, genuinely: cook dinner onions, peppers, and tomatoes in oil until tender and then add the beans. Finally, chili con Carne may be made with mixed beans or a vegan opportunity to minced meat. Chop onion and garlic, upload mince, paprika, and your favorite herbs and chilies with tinned tomatoes and tomato paste. I like to add a tiny bit of Marmite to make it flavor extra “meaty,” too. Keep cooking it and tinker with the seasoning to flavor. Finish off with grated vegan cheese.
Everyone loves a fantastic baked potato.’
Jane Nielsen, Denmark
I got here throughout Spudulike for the first time when I lived in Edinburgh. I fell completely in love with the shop’s idea, and their coronation chicken potato became certainly one of my first food in Scotland. I spent greater than 30 happy years consuming their potatoes. Everyone loves a remarkable baked potato.
‘I love them with candy, slow-cooked leeks’
Anna Jones, meals creator
Baked potatoes are up there with my preferred foods; I love them with sweet gradual-cooked leeks, combined with grated cheddar, whole grain mustard, a little creme fraiche, and lemon zest. I also love them with baked beans and cheese with masses of black pepper.
The satisfactory one I’ve ever had turned into at a beachside restaurant in Biarritz some summers in the past. It changed into a fish restaurant, and I don’t eat fish, so I changed into a bit sullen approximately the prospect, so I ordered the sides of baked potato and salad. The potatoes were perfectly baked in hot coals, then reduce open and crowned with a dot of salty butter and cream cheese – they have been best and so simple.
When I’m making my very own, I like to wash the skins properly, making sure no longer to pierce the potato – maintaining the skin intact is what outcomes in a fluffy internal – then even as nonetheless wet, I scatter with salt and rub into the moist pores and skin which facilitates it stick.
‘Cooking a baked potato expresses my love for my fiancee.’
John Paul, New York
I accomplice the baked potato by moving in with my fiancee and mastering cooking dinner for both of us. In many ways, cooking and serving a dish with a baked potato expresses my fiancee’s love. It’s me trying to carry an experience of peace and calm into our busy lives. It’s satisfactorily served with healthful pats of butter and bitter cream with cracked blacked pepper on a pinnacle. Something is stunning about a baked potato flavored with simple condiments as they don’t mask the taste of the potato; they beautify it.