You know it’s so funny, but growing up in an ethnic home meant that I completely bypassed some typical Australian culinary delights as a child. Whilst I have vast knowledge of many cuisines such as Thai, Chinese and Indian, I really don’t have a good grip on a lot of good old Australian classics.
I think perhaps it’s that exotic world cuisines seem so much more exciting than plain, British Empire style food. For example it wasn’t until last year that I tried corned beef for the first time (though I thought it was pretty delicious I haven’t cooked it again as my husband is not a fan). There was recently a heated discussion on the Essential Baby/Essential Kids recipes forum about curried sausages. There seemed to be so many people who grew up eating this dish yet for me, the thought of boiled sausages in Keen’s Curry Powder and water is not appealing at all. The same goes for apricot chicken. I had never heard of this before I read about it on the forums. Apparently it’s chicken with apricot nectar and french onion soup mix.
So we come to today’s recipe (though it’s hardly a recipe, it’s more an idea). I never grew up eating baked potato either but I’ve heard a lot of people suggesting them for parties and for dinner, especially for young kids. I love that they’re interactive in that each person can choose exactly what to put on their own potato.
I’ve come up with a combination of toppings based on what I had in my fridge and what I thought would taste good together and I encourage you to do the same. The topping choices are really up to you. I thought that the caramelised onions and sour cream sprinkled with crispy bacon bits was a match made in heaven.
1 large potato per person, cleaned and scrubbed
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 punnet mushrooms, roughly torn or sliced
1 packet baby spinach
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 packet bacon, finely diced
(or anything else you’d like eg bolognese sauce, guacamole, creamed corn, salsa, sweet chilli sauce etc)
Place the potatoes in an oven directly on the rack. Turn it up to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 1 hour.
Meanwhile get two frying pans on medium heat. Place the onions in one with a generous amount of olive oil and salt. In the other pan add some olive oil and tear the mushrooms in. Gently stir the onions ever couple of minutes. Stir the mushroom for about 10 minutes until cooked. Season with salt and pepper then set aside.
Continue to stir the onions. Add the bacon into the pan that had the mushrooms and cook until crispy, set aside.
Keep stirring those onions. In the pan that had the bacon add a little more oil then add the spinach along with 1 chopped garlic clove. Season and stir until wilted, about one minute.
The onions will take about half an hour to become really caramelised.
By this time the potatoes should be cooked through too.
Set up a ‘bar’ with all the toppings. Halve each potato and spread generously with butter and serve on a plate.
Everyone can then load their potatoes up with the toppings they desire.
So am I doing the baked potato justice? What are your favourite toppings?