Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dinner Time: Jackets Required!

I love that the British call baked potatoes "Jacket Potatoes"! It's so appropriate if you think about it because the skin is like a little jacket. Tres fashionable, non?

I recently saw a classic British jacket potato on a menu and though I'd already eaten, I filed it away in my brain for a future dinner option! I made it on Monday night for dinner and I must say, it was devine, super easy and a fun dinner! I then found myself lying in bed with insomnia dreaming up all the fabulous ways to dress up a jacket potato and I thought I would share them! Kids would love this meal and if you're entertaining, it would be really cute to do a potato bar, letting guests create their own suit, starting with the jacket!

Here are a few ways I would serve jacket potatoes:

*All potato ideas are better with plenty of butter and salt, but if you're health conscious like me, try either olive oil, a flavored olive oil or a low-fat, low-cholesterol spread with Lo-Salt or an alternative salt substitute. If you're in the US, I'm a huge fan of Mrs. Dash and they come in multiple flavors!

*Pop the potato back in the oven once it's full of toppings to melt the cheese! YUM!

1. Classic British
Chopped bacon (smoked ham would be a good substitute)
Heinz Baked Beans (look for the blue tin as UK baked beans are different than US versions)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

2. Southwestern
Chili con carne
Kidney beans, if not already included in the chili you use
Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend taco cheese

3. Meatless Monday
Boil a generous amount of frozen shelled edimame or soya beans according to package directions. Boil 1/2 - 1 cup of water and mix well with a veggie boullion cube. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (to taste). Season with salt, pepper, crushed chili flakes, crushed dried parsley and any Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, etc.). Add Edimame to the sauce. It should thicken slightly.

Top potato with edimame sauce mixture. Top generously with shredded parmesan cheese.

*This is an approximate recipe as I make it for 2 people, but can/should be modified for more or less people. If sauce doesn't thicken enough, use cornstarch to get the consistency you desire.

*I like corn in this recipe as well. Experiment with adding additional veggies you like.

4. Mexican Fiesta
Fajita chicken/beef or taco filling
Refried beans (black beans work too)
Sour Cream
Shredded cheese
Any veggies you desire

5. Italian
Grilled chicken (the premade ones for salads in the deli are great!)
Sauce - Either tomato type or cream based works
Pancetta, Prociutto or Salami add a punch
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (a little parmesan sprinkled on top is nice too!)

6. Pizza
Veggies (if desired)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

* Add further meats for a different "meat lovers" type dish including ham, sausage, chicken or ground beef.

7. Bangers & Mash Guvnah!
Diced pork sausages
Onion gravy (beef gravy works well too)

*Add fried onions if you like.

8. Roast Dinner Jacket
Chopped grilled or roast chicken (can be bought pre-made)
Diced, cooked carrots
Chicken gravy

9. Southern Comfort
BBQ chicken
Cole slaw

10. Thanksgiving
Stove top Stuffing
Sliced turkey
Turkey Gravy

*Add cranberry sauce or additional veggies if you like.
*If you like, this might be nice on a baked yam or sweet potato instead.

11. Hawaiian
Mozzarella Cheese

12. English Breakfast
Heinz Beans
Chopped bacon
Chopped sausage
Fried egg
Shredded cheddar

*Add black and/or white pudding if you like. Serve with toast.

Don't be fooled. These aren't just potatoes. They're a meal. I made the classic British version this week and we were STUFFED! I just love the idea of a self-contained meal like this and it's great fun! It's also cheap and easy... what more could you want from a potato? Also, potatoes aren't as nutritionally devoid as we've been lead to believe! The following information is from

"A medium-size 150 g (5.3 oz) potato with the skin provides 27 mg of vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV)), 620 mg of potassium (18% of DV), 0.2 mg vitamin B6 (10% of DV) and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. The fiber content of a potato with skin (2 g) is equivalent to that of many whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals."

Would you try any of these funky jacket potato recipes? Do you have an interesting recipe for them you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it, so leave me a comment!

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  1. Thanks for the recipes dear, I studied in UK and I loved jacket potatoes ever since. I always do then every now and then. It takes time but they are most delicious when baked in the oven (not in microwave, even for a few minutes)
    Bon appetit

  2. oh and I was just thinking what to make for dinner! I cant wait to try some of these!

  3. When I lived in London, jacket potatoes were one of my favorite things to eat! Thanks for sharing these recipes, they all sound amazing!

  4. These all sound delicious! I remember seeing these on pub menus when vacationing in England last year, but I didn't get to try one.


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