Making the Old Baked Potato, New Again
Our guide, plus 3 delicious recipe suggestions
You may have read already about our “legendary” Kitchen Stories lunch parties, but if you haven’t, here it is in a nutshell. The idea is simple, every Thursday all our colleagues prepare their interpretation of the weekly changing theme—from a taco party to tapas, pasta to Chinese. Then all the dishes are served, spanning three or four tables in our team kitchen, and everyone can dig in and share. Although we can eat a (potentially) record-breaking amount here at KS, there's usually even enough left over for a smaller shared lunch on Friday.
That said, we always try to find a new motto for our lunch parties to keep it fresh and fun. However, there’s one dish the whole team loved so much that we’ve already repeated it— twice. That’s right, they are the topic of this article: baked potatoes, or “Kumpir.”
Why baked potatoes? The answer is simple: Our selection of toppings is extensive, and delicious—turning an old standby into something shiny and new. So with all of our experience in mind, here’s just how easy it is to make the best baked potatoes.
The basics of a baked potato
First things first? Having the right potato for the job. There are actually only one or two things you should keep in mind:
1. Can I use all kinds of potatoes for Kumpir?
The answer is yes, and no. Although you can use any type of potato (yes, even sweet potatoes!), we would strongly recommend going for floury potatoes—like russet. They soften after cooking and absorb liquid better than other types. Be sure to keep your eyes wide open for particularly big ones, about 7 – 10 oz (200 – 300 g) is ideal for one person as a full meal. Sure, you can use smaller ones, but always remember: the bigger the potato, the more space for all those fillings!
2. How long should the potato bake in the oven to perfection?
You’re going to have to allow some time for this. Depending on the actual size and variety of the potato you use, it can take between 40 and 80 minutes in the oven. You can tell when it’s done by piercing it with a fork—it’s done when the fork goes in with barely any effort.
When the baked potato is fresh out of the oven, cut the potato lengthwise and gently, carefully squeeze it a bit so that the cut opens up just enough for you to add a good portion of butter in there. Then use a fork to start loosening up the flesh of the potato—working the butter in evenly. Add grated cheese of your choice and mix again with the fork—the consistency should now resemble mashed potatoes. If the potato breaks in two when squeezed or does not mix well with butter and cheese, it probably hasn't been in the oven long enough. Just pop it back in to finish cooking through.
A question of fillings
And now it's time (at least in our opinion) for the best part: the filling! There are really no boundaries here, as the baked potato offers a creamy, warm, carb-y home for countless toppings. Some of our favorites from the last lunch party?
Cheese, cheese, and even more cheese
x Shredded cheddar
x Shredded Kaşar (Turkish semi-hard cheese)
x Provolone (Italian semi-hard cheese)
x Sour cream
x Tzatziki or other yogurt sauces
Salads and more
x Lamb’s lettuce
x Red cabbage
x Grated carrots
x Grated beets
x Sauteed mushrooms
x Sun-dried tomatoes
x Chopped nuts
x Pomegranate seeds
3 baked potato recipes to get you started
If the endless topping and preparation possibilities are a bit too much for you—no worries, we’ve got three recipes up our sleeves that are guaranteed to satisfy every taste. Which one tickles your fancy?
Do you love baked potatoes as much as we do? Which toppings are your favorites? Tell us in the comment section below or upload your own recipe!
Published on February 9, 2020