Baked Potato Basics

Mother ship of the comfort food fleet.
  1. Russets are the baking kind. One medium-large (3/4 pound) per serving.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub potatoes and pat dry.
  3. Place potatoes (no foil necessary) directly on rack in center of oven for 50 minutes-1 hour or until a sharp knife slides right in.
  4. Carefully remove, transfer to a plate, and slice an X. Gently squeeze open; careful not to burn your fingers.
  5. Add butter and/or good olive oil and/or sour cream. Mash a little.
  6. Sprinkle w salt (regular or fancy flavored) and pepper.
  7. Toss on some crumbled bacon, if you are so inclined.
  8. Accessorize with a crispy-edged fried egg.
  9. Grated cheddar, salsa, and/or last night's leftover vegetables are also welcome.
  10. Take it from here, topping-wise (no rules).
  11. Consider making extra because baked potatoes reheat excellently in a microwave, and you might want another one tomorrow.