While I don’t ordinarily think baked potatoes require a recipe, I include it because it is a simple supper that has long been a family favorite. Advantages of baked potatoes for supper include ability to choose size of potatoes, ease of preparation and the fact that family members can tailor the stuffing to their own preferences. If I am making a pan of these for a bunch of people, I simply bake the potatoes and set them out along with bowls of a variety of toppings. The photo here features a small baked potato with salt and pepper, butter, a sprinkle of grated cheddar, and crumbled bacon. Joe and I first enjoyed stuffed baked potatoes at a restaurant called Valian’s* on South Main in Houston 50 years ago! We often have this for a meal along with a salad, but a baked potato is also a great side for grilled meats.
Stuffed Baked Potatoes
4 medium to large baking potatoes
4 strips bacon, cooked to crisp and crumbled
salt and black pe pper
chopped green onions or chives (optional)
Note: Many other ingredients can be used for potato toppings! Try spooning chili or chopped broccoli into potatoes. Chopped barbeque brisket or pulled pork can also be delicious.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash potatoes and poke 2 or 3 vent holes in each with a fork. Oil or butter the skins, sprinkle with coarse salt and place on baking sheet. Bake potatoes in oven until done, about 1 hour. (Poke with a fork and if fork goes in easily they are done). Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cut a slit lengthwise and squeeze slightly to loosen pulp before adding butter, salt and pepper, cheese, and bacon. Sprinkle chopped green onions or chives on top if desired.
*Valian’s Restaurant opened in Houston in 1955 but closed in 1980 and was also known for introducing “Pizza Pie” to Houston!