Aurora Catering's

Baked Idaho Potatoes
Yield - 12 Dinner Servings

Ingredients

12 LARGE IDAHO POTATOES
1/2 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
2 TSP SALT
1 TSP WHITE PEPPER
1 LB SOUR CREAM
1/4 LB TASSO (Minced) or BACON BITS
1/2 LB UNSALTED BUTTER
1 BUNCH SHALLOTS (Chopped)
1/2 LB SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE (Grated)
1 LB MUSHROOMS (Sliced and sautéed in butter)
LOT SALT, WHITE and BLACK PEPPER

Method
Scrub the potatoes with a wire brush to remove all dirt and rough patches of the skin. Use a fork to poke holes into the potatoes (minimum 8 per potato).
In a shallow bowl whisk oil and seasonings, roll the potatoes in the oil then tightly wrap the potatoes in a 12 inch foil square.
Preheat oven to 400F, loosely arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet (insure that none are touching) and bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and use tongs to turn the potatoes, return to oven and continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness with a toothpick. The potatoes should be tender through to the center.

Alternate Method
If you are cooking for many people and can't fit all of the potatoes in the oven at one time try this. Preheat the oven to it's highest setting (minimum 500F), bake the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the potatoes and place immediately in plastic insulated ice chest. Bake the next batch and when done add to the first batch. The potatoes are not completely cooked when they are removed from the oven, they require a minimum of 45 minutes in the ice chest to finish cooking. The potatoes can be kept in the chest for up to six hours unopened!

Plate Presentation
Place the potatoes in a large "Easter" basket and cover with several cloth napkins. To allow easy access to the side dishes, serve them in shallow dishes with a spoon. (All of the side ingredients are essential for good party service.)

Chef's Notes:
Everyone knows how to bake potatoes but try this alternate method for your next party. Your guest will marvel at how you cooked so many potatoes without heating up the house.

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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Copyright © 1995 Aurora Catering, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 27, 2008.