Hello lovelies! I almost didn't post this because it felt less like a recipe and more like a DUH! But I am because it was so delicious. We rarely have jacket potatoes as they take one hour to cook in the oven to get the perfect textures (crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside), but this reminded me of how good they can be. Sometimes simple food is the best food. And you can't beat a good ole tater.
It also reminded me of the fact that that hour in the oven is mostly hands off, so you can get on with other things like reading your stack of 19 library books because you are trying to read all the books nominated for the Carnegie so you can predict the long list. Or is that just me?
The inspiration for this meal goes to our dear friends Rosie-Mai and Carole who paid us a spontaneous visit last month. we all went out to Wetherspoons and I got the jacket potato with roasted vegetables and salad. It was good. The vegetables had a tangy quality that tasted of balsamic vinegar. I just wanted more roasted veg and a bigger salad without tomatoes with their squishy jelly bits leaking all over my leaves. Blech.
I wanted to make it great. I got to asking around as to how other people cook their jacket potatoes. Some use the microwave to cook it and then discard the skin (The skin is the best part, Soupy!), some cook it part of the way in the microwave and then finish in a hot oven to crisp it up, some wrap it in foil, others cook it directly on the oven rack.
I once ate at a restaurant in Louisiana that made the *best* jacket potatoes. There was a certain savoury je ne sais quoi about their potato skins. Turns out they used bacon grease. Oops. But I got to thinking a little hint of fat and smoke could make potato skins just as delicious and cruelty free.
This is how I make mine.
Jacket Potatoes with Roasted Vegetables
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
Get your largest metal roasting pan ready.
For the taters
2 fist sized baking potatoes (anything else takes too long to cook)
1 tsp oil
1/8 to 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
fine grain sea salt
1. Wash and dry your potatoes. Prick them all over with a fork or sharp knife.
2. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil in a small dish and add the liquid smoke. Sprinkle a little fine sea salt on a flat plate.
3. Using your hands or a pastry brush, spread a bit of the smoky oil all over the skins and lightly roll in the salt.
4. Place on the far side of your metal roasting pan. (you'll be roasting your veg in the same pan in a while, so leave some room. )
5. Put in the hot oven and set your timer for 30 minutes while you chop up your veg.
1 red onion
1 coloured pepper (I used half a red and half a yellow to make it purdy)
1 fennel (or if you can't find a fennel or can't afford one, do what I did and use a white onion plus 1 TB fennel seeds)
3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
any unused oil from the potatoes above (I had about a half a tsp left)
1 TB balsamic vinegar
sprinkling of mixed herbs
several grindings of pepper
Optional but recommended toppings
sun dried tomatoes
hummus (we used caramelised onion hummus for #threekindsofonions)
1. Chop all your veg into roughly even sized pieces and put in a bowl with the remainder of the oil, the vinegar, the herbs and the optional fennel seeds. Leave to marinade until the timer goes off. Now is a good time to go read a book.
2. When the timer goes off, sigh and put down your book because it was a good part and take the roasting pan out of the oven. Gently flip your potatoes over and throw the veg on the other side of the pan to roast. Set the timer for 30 more minutes and get back to your book.
When the timer goes off, hey presto! You have lots of lovely roasted veg and a crispy, but fluffy jacket with a skin that has bit of oomph to it. Crack open your potato, dollop in some hummus, throw on some roasted veg, slap on half a plate of salad leaves and add the rest of the roasted veg to the salad.