07 Jan Special of the Day: No Kitchen? No Problem! Week One~Baked Potato Bar Buffet
With Project Kitchen Remodel officially underway last week (hip hip hooray!), and the total demolition of my kitchen (gasp!), it was time for me to get creative and resourceful about my cooking. Without an oven or a stove, keeping it simple was the modus operandi. We set up a makeshift mini food prep station on the downstairs bar with a countertop work surface and access to several kitchen appliances I had acquired over the years, and the idea for the No Kitchen, No Problem mini-series was hatched.
If you’ve got a bar, and you’ve got potatoes, and you’ve got a microwave- set up a baked potato bar, I thought, reminiscing about my sorority days living at the Tri Delta house at the University of Washington and our cook’s occasional dinner buffet offering of baked potatoes accompanied by just about everything imaginable she could drag out of the walk-in refrigerator. Not a bad idea, in retrospect.
Our contractor had kindly moved the old microwave down and set it up on the bar, and I was quickly expanding my horizons and learning how to cook all kinds of things in this mammoth dinosaur of an appliance. Turns out making scrambled eggs in the microwave is a snap as long as you butter the baking dish, add some milk and salt and pepper to the eggs before whisking and commit to short cooking intervals with intermittent stirring. No oven, no problem!
And while I had baked many a spud in the oven, I had never tried making baked potatoes in the microwave until last week. What a pleasant surprise! Taking just 10 minutes to bake and a few more to rest, the potato was cooked all the way though with a fluffy right-out-the-oven texture in a fraction of the time. Having a systematic plan for using the microwave to cook all of the components will save you time if you’re setting up a Baked Potato Bar Dinner Buffet.
- Cook the bacon first.
- Next, steam the broccoli according to package directions. It only takes a few minutes.
- Then, wash, dry, oil, pierce and salt the potatoes.
- While the potatoes are cooking on the first side, grate the cheese and set up the toppings.
- Turn the potatoes, cook them on the other side, and let them rest for five minutes before cutting them open and serving them.
Even our daughter was impressed after enjoying the Microwave Baked Potato saying that, “It was like it came out of a real oven or something.” Success! Stay tuned for more weekly installments of our No Kitchen, No Problem mini-series as Project Kitchen Remodel continues.
Make something simple and satisfying for dinner in the microwave with this week’s Special of the Day: No Oven, No Problem! Baked Potato Bar Buffet~Made in the Microwave. Enjoy!
Microwave Baked Potato Bar Buffet
Recipe and food photography by Sydne George
12 ounce package Eat Smart Steam-in-the-Bag broccoli (Albertsons produce)
4 slices bacon
4 medium russet baking potatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Sliced green onions
- Make the crispy bacon:
Cook the bacon on a microwave safe plate on paper towels for about 5 minutes or until crispy. Let cool and crumble.
- Steam the broccoli in the microwave according to package directions. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Wash and dry the potatoes. Pierce them with a fork several times. Brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle salt over all sides of the potatoes.
- Bake the potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes.
- Grate the cheese and set out the other toppings.
- Turn the potatoes over and cook them for an additional five minutes. Remove from microwave and let rest for five minutes.
- Cut a slit in the baked potatoes and set on Baked Potato Bar Buffet.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the Day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/