The Bake and Boil
Cook as many potatoes as is appropriate for your number of guests or size of appetite
Normally I bake my potatoes the old fashioned way. That is, I wrap my potato in aluminum foil and place it in a small Pyrex or glass casserole dish or on a small cookie sheet and allow it to bake in the conventional oven. But lately, I have come across some horribly thick-skinned and tough potatoes at my local market. And when I used my usual approach to baking them, they were still rather inedible even after presumably cooking them all the way through. So I formulated a new plan to tackle those tougher than average taters. Here’s how it works:
1. Place your uncooked potato in a DeLonghi combination oven and set it to the bake function by pressing the bake button and allowing the potato to go through one entire baking cycle. This cycle should last approximately 1 hour.
2. Remove the very hot and partially baked potato from the DeLonghi oven very carefully and lace it in a medium-sized pot of boiling water allowing it to boil for 10-15 minutes on a medium-high to high heat. This will ensure that your baked potato is as soft as it should be and that it has its signature smooth texture.
3. Place your baked potato on a small diner plate and let it cool a bit. While the potato is cooling, take 1 broccoli stalk wash it thoroughly and rinse it in a colander and chop off the florets from the stalk, but discard the stalk material.
4. Place the uncooked florets in a medium-sized lidded pot and cover just over them with water. Place the lid on the pot and allow the florets to boil on a medium-high to high heat for 15-20 or until desired tenderness is reached.
5. Uncover the pot and drain the now cooked florets into a colander and allow them to cool briefly.
6. Place a few spoonfuls of the florets over the top of the baked potato.
7. Top with everything from salsa to shredded cheddar cheese to Tostitos Salsa con Queso or any of the Taco Bell variety cheese sauces and heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute or until the potato and toppings are all of equal warmth and serve.