Despite that potatoes are not an Asian food staple, I have always love potatoes. No matter in what size or cooking style, from whipped, mashed, fried or baked, potatoes are just something I can’t resist.
When I first started my degree in England, that was when I first encountered the name “jacket potato”, English name of a baked potato. Apparently, in the mid-19th century, English street hawkers used to baked potatoes till the skin becomes crispy, like a “jacket” and sold them during autumn and winter.
Common toppings that I used to see were cheese and beans, coleslaw, tuna corn mayonnaise or even chicken tikka. I myself had paired it with my prefered toppings when I was a student and I continue to love them. Hence, here I would like to share these more varied and fun topping ideas with you. But first…
Baking the potato
I call this a quick recipe simply because there is not much preparation time in baking the potato. All you need is the time needed for baking. Choosing the right type of potato is also important. You just need the floury varieties. To get the potato baked properly, you would need to first rub a bit of oil with some seasoning (salt & pepper) after having scrubbed the potato clean. To save time, prick some holes into the potato, wrap it in kitchen roll and microwave it on High for 8-10 minutes before baking. If not, you can just leave the potato in the oven to bake for around 25 minutes at 220՞C, then turn down the heat to 190՞C and bake for 1 hour to 1.5 hours.
Once it’s baked, slice an “X” on the top, then squeeze the bottom to enable the inside of the potato to look “fluffy”. I like to add a knob of butter into it before any fillings.
As I promised in my title, this is supposed to be quick and healthy. For my Mediterranean-style topping, you need:
– A jar of anchovies in oil
– A jar of sundried tomato pesto
– Shredded cheddar cheese
- Lay 2-4 pieces of anchovies on your baked potato.
- Spoon 2-4 tablespoons of the tomato pesto onto the top.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheddar, and pop the potato back into the oven to grill it for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
And there you go, a mediterranean flavour to enjoy your jacket potato with and remind you of the sunny side of things!
Being a fan of smoked salmon and soft cheese, here’s a topping that’s also healthy and enjoyable! For this you need:
– Smoked salmon
– Soft cheese (or sour cream)
– Lemon (for the zest and juice)
- Lay 1-3 pieces of smoked salmon (depends on the size and depends on how much you like per serving) onto the baked potato.
- Squeeze a wedge of lemon to let the juice spread onto the salmon.
- Spoon 2-3 tablespoon of soft cheese/sour cream onto the top!
- If you like the flavour of lemon zest, sprinkle a small pinch onto the soft cheese. It works well as a garnish too!
So how about that? Jacket potato with smoked salmon and cheese! If you would like to serve this as entrée to a meal, you might like to consider using baby potatoes instead, and use shredded smoked salmon for a more refined look. Then this will make the dish lighter to allow your guest more room to have the mains and dessert!
And of course, now that I am in France, I can’t end this recipe without a French-style topping can I? So here we go…
– A packet of lardon/ bacon (100g)
– 5 – 7 button mushrooms, quartered
– Crème fraîche/ Heavy cream
- Pan fry the lardons/bacon until the fat oozes out.
- Add in the mushrooms and sauté them for about 5 minutes.
- Mix in a teaspoon of mustard.
- Add in 3-4 tablespoon of crème fraîche or heavy cream into the pan and stir for about 2 minutes before turning off the flame.
- Spoon the contents from the pan onto your jacket potato and it’s all ready to be served!
There you go. I hope that you will find these ideas quick and healthy enough! Feel free to write to me on other thoughts/ ideas for your favourite toppings! Bon appétit!