Almost anything that can be cooked in a conventional oven can be cooked in a slow cooker using less power. It just takes more time for cooking (but not for preparation) and some planning ahead. Today’s idea for your slow cooker is baked potatoes.
Start with fresh white potatoes OR sweet potatoes. I love both. Baked white potatoes can be stuffed or filled with any number of toppings that can be tailored to satisfy individual tastes.
Here’s how you do the baked white potatoes for a nutritious, filling, economical dinner or lunch. Start with one medium-sized potato for everyone you want to serve. If there is room in your slow cooker for a few extras, add them. They make good leftovers or use them to make potato salad.
After you’ve washed each potato thoroughly, hold each one in your left hand and a sharp pointed knife in the right if you are right handed. Reverse if you are left handed. With the knife, pierce the skin of each potato in several places. Rotate the potato in your left hand and pierce the skin several more times with each rotation.
Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and line it with aluminum foil. Place the potatoes snugly in the cooker and fold any flaps of foil over them. Place the lid on your cooker. These first steps can be completed the night before if you’re serving this for dinner the next day. When you get up the next morning, all you have to do is turn on your cooker!
Set on high if you plan to eat in 4-5 hours or low if you are cooking overnight or all day. To test for doneness, insert a sharp pointed knife in one or more potatoes before removing them from the cooker. The knife should easily go into the potato as far as the blade with allow.
When ready to serve, each plate gets a potato sliced open. Let each person choose a combination of toppings to suit their individual taste.
Your “potato bar” can include any of the following toppings PLUS any others you like. butter or margarine, sour cream, ranch dressing, bacon bits, shredded cheese or cheese sauce, salsa, onions, chives, cilantro, chili (with or without beans), taco meat, chopped grilled chicken, asparagus, steamed broccoli, chopped veggies, garbanzos or other beans.
These toppings will satisfy a “meat and potatoes” eater or a vegan. Fresh green salad and/or coleslaw complement stuffed baked potatoes. If you have people coming and going and eating at odd times, the potatoes stay warm in the slow cooker or can be reheated in the microwave.
If you try this, let me know how it works for you and those you feed. What toppings do you like best? Write to me at email@example.com
Grace Terry is a “get by” cook, an author, angel card reader, communicator with departed loved ones, and a grief coach and companion. Her website is www.angelsabide.com