Today I am going to share with you how I take the humble baked potato to the next level!
Now that the summer has started our backyard comes alive with a hub of activity, whether it’s just our little family or extended family and friends, spending time enjoying a leisurely summer meal is what makes the season special.
There is nothing I enjoy more than feeding people. It is a passion of mine to make sure everyone leaves the table happy and full!
Tim is always in charge of the grilling. Truth be told I am not even sure how to turn the barbecue on, but the rest of the meal is up to me. Coming up with new side dishes and desserts is a challenge I fully embrace.
One way to ensure everyone has a memorable meal is a self-serve set up. Summer time is the perfect time for creating a self-serve Baked Potato Bar.
I have to confess, it wasn’t too long ago that I loathed making baked potatoes. They just took so darn long to cook. Oh, but the thought of rich, creamy sour cream melting into a piping hot potato always made the effort worth it!
That was until I discovered a few tricks that make cooking baked potatoes a snap.
(I will get to those tricks in a little bit.)
First, putting together a self serve baked potato bar is easy, quick, and chances are you already have a lot of the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry. In my opinion no baked potato is complete without a heaping serving of sour cream. Anything you add on top of that is just a bonus.
I simply will not skimp on quality when it comes to sour cream on my baked potato! It has to be thick, rich, creamy, and delicious. Gay Lea Gold Premium sour cream is simply the best. Trust me, you will not find a more rich, silky or decadent sour cream.
Nut free and certified Kosher, Gay Lea Gold Premium sour cream is easy to find in Ontario grocery stores in a 425 ml size. The perfect size for feeding a crowd.
I admit I am a bit of a sour cream hog. I tend to reload my baked potato as I am eating, so I spooned some into a little jar just for myself!
I put this baked potato bar together last weekend to celebrate the Victoria Day weekend with family. I think it is a safe bet that no one was disappointed!
Here are a few ingredient ideas for creating your own self serve potato bar, but really anything goes:
- Gay Lea Gold Premium sour cream
- chopped fresh chives
- crumbled crispy bacon
- crumbled blue cheese
- baked beans
- chili (canned is fine, but homemade…yum!)
- Gay Lea Butter
- Ivanhoe Aged Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- crispy fried onions
It is always the best idea to set out your ingredients in a big tub or tray with about 2 inch high sides filled with ice to keep things appropriately chilled for food safety. The day I set out mine, we were literally eating straight away, so there was no risk of anything left sitting out in the heat!
Now, besides choosing the best quality sour cream for your baked potatoes, choosing the perfect sized russet potato is also important. And these two tips I am about to share have changed the way I feel about cooking baked potatoes completely.
First, after piercing your potatoes all over with a fork (we don’t want any potato explosions), arrange on a microwave safe glass plate and microwave about 10 minutes for 4 potatoes, then simply wrap in foil and finish off cooking on the barbecue. This will cut the actually time on the barbecue in half!
The second option is, and this is a good one, again pierce the potatoes all over with a fork, rub them with olive oil, wrap in foil and layer them in your slow cooker. Cook on high for about 4 1/2 hours or 8 hours on high. Ready when you are!
Here it is! My edible masterpiece. A heaping spoonful of Gay Lea Gold Premium Sour Crème, A sprinkling of chives and shredded aged cheddar, a tiny bit of bacon bits with a side of baked beans!
So tell me. What’s on top of your ultimate baked potato?
And, don’t forget to follow Gay Lea on Pinterest for even more recipe ideas!
Until next time….
*Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”