Jacket Potatoes & All the Fixings

This is a meal for football watching – all of the toppings can be prepped ahead, and the potatoes slowly roast in the oven allowing free time away from the kitchen. In essence, you are creating a baked potato bar, with guests choosing from a variety of toppings for their spud. Or, for a simpler weeknight dinner, select, pre-top and serve.

Jacket potatoes are baked directly on the oven rack, without being wrapped. The result is a crispy skin with a fluffy interior, that is just waiting to soak up flavor. I love this “blank slate” dinner so much, I’ve included two more ideas for toppings below the recipe. The options are endless!

Jacket Potatoes & All the Fixings

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
This is a meal for football watching – all of the toppings can be prepped ahead, and the potatoes slowly roast in the oven allowing free time away from the kitchen. In essence, you are creating a baked potato bar, with guests choosing from a variety of toppings for their spud. Or, for a simpler weeknight dinner, select, pre-top and serve.
Jacket potatoes are baked directly on the oven rack, without being wrapped. The result is a crispy skin with a fluffy interior, that is just waiting to soak up flavor. I love this "blank slate" dinner so much, I've included two more ideas for toppings below the recipe. The options are endless!
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Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 6 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch broccoli, steamed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup blue cheese
  • 1 batch beanless turkey chili, see recipe below
  • 1 jar pickled jalapenos, drained
  • 1 cup sour cream

Optional but nice:

  • ½ cup crumbled bacon bits
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped scallions

Quick Beanless Turkey (or beef) Chili

  • ½ large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped, or use green bell pepper for less heat
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8- ounce can tomato sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400 F. Rub the potatoes with a little olive oil, and cut an X on the tops, about ½-inch deep. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the potatoes over and turn the oven down to 350. Continue to bake for another 45 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are roasting (or ahead of time if you don’t want to be cooking while the potatoes roast), make the chili, following the directions below, and also make the blue cheese sauce. To make the sauce, pour the cream in a small saucepan and simmer for 4-5 minutes until thickened, stirring with a heat proof spatula. Add in half of the cheese and cook for another minute or two, mashing it in until it is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining cheese. Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated.
  • Place the remaining items in serving bowls and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • When you are ready to serve, rewarm the chili and the cheese sauce and set the toppings out on a counter with plates and servingware. Split the potatoes down the middle, not cutting all the way through, and squeeze the ends toward each other to create an opening and fluffy interior. Serve warm with the toppings.

TO MAKE TURKEY CHILI:

  • Cook the onion in the olive oil until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, for a few minutes until it is done. Pour in the tomato sauce, bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered to avoid splatters, for 10-15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

TO MAKE BEEF CHILI:

  • Begin by browning the beef, then pour off the extra fat. Add the garlic, pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder and salt and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, and cook for another 10-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Notes

Spinach & Artichokes with Feta
  • Saute two chopped garlic cloves in olive oil. Add 8 ounces baby spinach and a pinch of nutmeg, and stir until wilted. Stir in a 14-ounce can of well-drained chopped artichoke hearts (not marinated), and season the mixture with salt. Cook to remove most of the moisture.
  • Mash 1/2 cup feta with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. Squeeze a little lemon juice in and add a pinch of oregano. Mix well.
  • Serve the potatoes with the spinach artichoke mixture, and drizzle with the feta sauce.
Indian-ish potato bar
  • Cook 1 chopped shallot in butter over low heat for a minute or two. Add 1 or two teaspoons of grated garlic and fresh ginger, and 1 teaspoon each of ground turmeric, curry powder and kosher salt. Add 1 cup lentils and a cinnamon stick, then pour in 2 cups of water or broth. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. If the lentils get too dry before they are soft, add some more liquid.
  • While the lentils are cooking, make a quick raita by combining ½ cup grated cucumber, 1 cup Greek yogurt, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, and a pinch of ground coriander and cumin if you have it.
  • Serve the potatoes with the warm lentils and a dollop of raita.
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