Flavor Up Potatoes From The Inside With Herbs
Spark up your spud offerings by using this simple flavor bomb. Garden herbs need more company in the meal! Take some bay leaves, sage, thyme, or rosemary for starters. When inserted into a slitted potato, their flavors will concentrate during cook time.
Consider the oohs and aahs when you split them and serve with the herb in place.
Baked Potato FAQ’s.
- Use smaller potatoes; they’re easier to work the herbs into
- To get creamy interior and crispy exterior be sure to bake long enough at high temperature: 400-425º. If you have a thermometer, potatoes are done perfectly at around 200º. If undercooked, the potato is more solid and watery.
- “Salt is what ruins potatoes, if you leave it off.” Be sure to season your spuds well after splitting.
- If crispy skin is a must, serve immediately out of the oven. If you prefer soft skins allow to rest a few minutes or keep warm in a 200º oven. Both ways are delicious.
- When frying leftover potatoes, add a pinch (1/8 tsp) of baking soda to the frying
pan. This raises the pH and amazingly induces browning in just a minute or two.
- If using sweet potatoes, they need moderate heat. Cook at 300º until internal temperature is about 200º or a knife slips easily into it.
Herbed Bay Potatoes
This is a my favorite herbed version. You can also serve it family style, cutting up the potatoes and placing on a platter.
Recipe: Serves 4
- potatoes, Russets, 4 small to medium
- bay leaves, 8 small (or try thyme branches, sage leaves, or rosemary sprigs)
- olive oil, 2 TBS.
- apple cider vinegar, 1 TBS.
- salt & pepper, be generous
- feta cheese, 1/4 cup, or blue cheese crumbles
- parsley or chives for garnish
- Rinse the potatoes and dry. Use a sharp paring knife and score the potato to create a pocket.
Continue scoring a little deeper each pass to go almost to the other side. Pinch the potato at the ends to see if it will open enough to slide the herbs inside. If potato is too long to pinch, place potato on one end and push down with your palm to open the slit enough to insert the herbs.
- Preheat the oven to 400º.
- Insert two bay leaves into each potato and push into position with the tip of the paring knife.
- Rub the potatoes in oil and season the skins generously with salt. You can put salt on a plate and roll the potatoes.
- Place a baking sheet on the rack below in the oven to catch any salt or oil during baking. If you have a wire rack that fits on a baking sheet, that is the ticket.
- Bake until internal temperature is about 200º, or tender when piercing with a knife, about 45 minutes if using small to medium potatoes.
- Halve the potatoes to reveal the bay leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, cider vinegar, pepper, and sprinkle with feta or blue cheese crumbles. Serve immediately.
Rosemary Baker Kabobs: Note You need sturdy branches of rosemary.
Use rosemary branches as kabobs to power up your potato. Take a sturdy plastic chop stick and pierce the raw potato with it. Next pound the chop stick down with a hammer or rolling pin, all the way down. Continue to push the chop stick all the way through. Then reverse the potato and repeat with the chop stick to ream out the hole.
Collect several 9 to 10-inch long sprigs of rosemary that have sturdy branches. Strip a few inches of rosemary leaves from the thick end of the sprig so that you can thread it through the potato. Insert it and push while twisting the rosemary until it comes out the other end. Pull the branch to center it and snip off all but about a half inch on both sides. Oil the potatoes, salt and bake. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Rosemary Salty Bakers
- Simpler yet, herb your potatoes by making a salt rub.
- Finely mince fresh rosemary leaves and mix with kosher-style salt.
- Rub the potatoes all over in oil then roll the spuds in the salt rub.
- Be sure to have a tray under the potatoes during baking to catch any droppings. If you have a rack that fits into a baking pan, you will have the ideal method of baking.
– Recipe from Bob Wise