• deep frying
  • blanching
  • Potato Skins
  • baking
  • roasting
  • boiling and steaming


One of the most healthful, comforting and economical meals is an Idaho russet potato baked in its skin with a fluffy center topped with melted butter, sour cream, or cheese. Use a 10– to 12-oz. russet potato for a good size portion. Cook in the middle of a hot oven at 400°F for 1 hour for very large potatoes or 40–60 minutes for medium potatoes. To test that they are cooked, squeeze the sides to make sure that they are soft or use a fork to pierce the potato to in the middle. The potato is done when a temperature of 210°F is reached in the center.

1. Wash and dry baking potatoes thoroughly, then optionally rub with oil and add a generous sprinkling of salt. Cook on a baking tray. To speed up cooking time and to ensure even cooking throughout, cook the baking potatoes on skewers, on special potato baking racks, or directly on the oven racks.

2. When tender, pierce a cross in the top of each potato with a fork and set the tray aside to cool slightly.

3. Hold each hot potato in a clean cloth and squeeze gently from underneath to open up.

4. Place the open potatoes on individual serving plates and put a pat of butter in each one. For a quick topping, add a little grated hard cheese, or a dollop of fresh herbs, such as chives or parsley. Season well.