The Working Woman's Simple Baked Potato

Traffic was crazy again, you're feeling stressed after the long day you've had at the office and the last thing on your mind is cooking dinner.  We've all been there.  

Which is why on stressful nights, making a simple baked potato as a side (or even an entree) is a comforting and easy recipe to achieve. Next time, try to take a couple deep breaths in front of your door or in your car before walking in. Try not to let the stress from work bleed into your home life right away.  When you walk in, go ahead and take your shoes off, put your items down and then turn the oven on to 400 degrees.  Wash the russet potato and dry it really good with a paper towel.

Take a fork and pierce the skin of the potato a couple times all the way around.  Apply a small amount of vegetable oil on the potato and run some salt all around the potato.  You can use regular table salt, but I find that a little course salt works best.  Wrap the entire potato in aluminum paper.  Place the potato in the center of your oven.

Now you can focus on yourself.  

Take a bath, burn some candles, play some music - whatever relaxes you.  My favorite routine after placing the potato in the oven is to turn on some relaxing music and jump into a hot shower. Listening to Classics for the Heart by Steve Anderson is a long time favorite album of mine when I'm looking to relax.

If you're worried about overcooking the potato, don't worry.  It's very difficult to actually overcook a baked potato, but in general your baked potato should take anywhere between 30 - 40 minutes to cook completely.  Set the timer to 30 minutes and if you're unsure you can try sticking a steak or butter knife through the aluminum wrap.  If it goes in easily then your potato is done.  Just take out the potato with some tongues and place on a plate.  Let it cool for 5 minutes or so and the aluminum should be warm but easy to handle.

Take the potato out and place on a plate.  You can eat this as a side or as a main dish.  If I'm eating it as a main dish only then I'll add some steamed broccoli and/or crispy bacon in addition to sour cream and butter.