Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Baked Potato, Where Art Thou?
I love spuds. You know, the tater, the grand potato, the ever-elegant potato chip. I love potatoes in almost every form.
French fries and baked potatoes are mmm good. They are also non-essential carbs but worth it, if DONE CORRECTLY. You would think french fries would be hard to screw up. You’d be wrong.
The early french fry was a potato cut into slices and tossed into boiling hot oil and spattered with salt. They had that smooth crunch on the outside, that fluffy white oh-mama-yes puff inside. They were fabulous.
They were so popular, people experimented. Covering them in gooey cheese, sprinkling them with pepper, and god-forbid paprika. Yes, someone tried to make me eat paprika fries. Disgusting.
Then comes the subtle treachery. The limp fries sitting under the heat lamps all day. The health Nazi’s complain about the deep fry oil until it’s replaced with a veggie crisper mix that leaves a grainy lard taste to the outside of my fries. Been to Burger King lately?
I’d rather lick the counter than eat their fries. The new oil is repulsive.
Then, the resturants that claim to be ‘home-cookin” felt left out and came out with home-fries. Home-fries are chopped up little squares of potato which have been fried on the grill with 10 other things and then served wilted. Uber bland.
What I’d love to eat is some good fried potatoes. Fried potatoes are not french fries and they are not home fries. There are about 100 different versions of fried potatoes. My SIL makes the best ones.
She slow steam fries them in pure bacon grease. They have crunchy edges but are soft inside. They taste of that perfect swirl of bacon and potato. Like really great sex, even when you’re full, you don’t want to stop because it’s so good.
You’ll never see these potatoes in resturants because they aren’t good cold and don’t do well reheated. The bacon grease, it’s your friend and your enemy. Plus, you’ll poop out your brains. Still, it tastes good.
If you just want a plain old fry, may I suggest McDonalds. On a good day, fresh from the fryer with a loving sprinkle of salt, their fries are a cheap, quick potato fix. Don’t eat them cold.
Potatoes just aren’t all that good cold or reheated, no matter the form.
When I joined WW to lose weight, the leader (as in take me to yours) suggested replacing fries with a baked potato. This is wonderful in theory. Only you can’t get an edible baked potato in a fast food resturant. You just can’t.
I eat my potato plain, maybe with a touch of salt or a dip of ketchup but no toppings. This is why a Wendy’s baked potato is vile. It’s been baked, microwaved, put under a heat lamp, and served. This potato has no flavor, no hope.
If it were a movie, that potato would be the mindless zombie, hoping for a shovel to the head. It’s bitter to the tongue, glassy to the eye. It smells vaguely ‘green’ in a metallic way. They taste like burnt paper. Bad potato.
Steak resturants aren’t any better. They rely on the topings to cover up the heat lamp taste. When it’s naked, there’s no chance of fooling me. IF you want a good potato, believe it or not, go to Red Lobster.
Red Lobster serves small baked potatoes. They soak them in a water overnight, salt them and slow bake them. The small size assures that they get done all the way through. The salt gives you texture and tang. The skin is tender and tasty enough to eat. My mouth is watering. My computer may short out from all the moisture.
Sometime in the future, I have to tell you about my ideas on potato chips but tonight we’re out of time.
Eat something and be happy!