A big box of beautiful baking potatoes arrived from Idaho this week. What a wonderful surprise! It came while I was visiting Idaho for the very first time with a group of bloggers who were invited by the Idaho Potato Commission to experience the Idaho potato harvest. I took lots of pictures and have some great stories to share with you about the trip, but first I needed to fix a hearty Friday night supper for The Farmer. He fended for himself all week and I knew that he was looking forward to something really tasty. It’s a good thing he loves baked potatoes as much as I do!
Then I sliced up a great big onion …more about the Cutco Fall Harvest tomorrow! I added some butter to the pan I had used to cook the bacon, and put the onion slices into the melting butter. I caramelized the onion slices by slowly stirring them over medium heat, letting them gradually change from crunchy white to silky golden deliciousness. Then I chopped up 3 bacon slices and added them to the onions. I measured one cup of vegetable broth (you could use chicken broth too), stirring in 2 tablespoons of quick-mixing flour, and added the slurry to the pan. As the gravy thickened, I added one cup of all purpose cream and gently stirred until the gravy was all the same color. Now it was time to add 2 cups of cooked turkey to the gravy. A teaspoon of poultry seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper…it was done!
Meanwhile those gorgeous potatoes were baking in the oven at 375 degrees. By the time I finished the gravy, the potatoes were done….about 45 minutes.
When we were in Idaho we learned the perfect way to open a baked potato from James Hoff, a fourth generation Idaho potato grower. When the potato comes out of the oven, gently massage the potato to loosen up the flesh inside.
James showed us how to use a fork to make a zig-zag pattern on top of the potato, then squeeze just so…and the potato opens up to a perfect Idaho Baked Potato Blossom!
Now is the time to add toppings…butter, sour cream, or my special Turkey, Bacon, and Onion Gravy! The kitchen smelled like a combination of breakfast and Thanksgiving dinner. The Farmer came in from working in the avocado grove and devoured the turkey gravy on that potato, thick with caramelized onions and nuggets of smoky bacon. Half way through the meal he added more gravy to the fluffy potato.
I can’t wait to share the story of the Idaho trip with you…there is so much fascinating information about how potatoes are grown and brought to people all over our country and the world…one of the healthiest and most affordable foods. Tomorrow I’ll be cutting up some of those potatoes to make a hearty turkey soup!
Disclosure: The Idaho Potato Commission sent me a box of russet potatoes and I used them in this recipe. I also used a Cutco knife that was sent to me for the Cutco Fall Harvest blogger program. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are mine.