This past week, I decided to finish up a bag of potatoes in a few different ways. I was originally thinking about making scalloped potatoes, or mashed potatoes, or some breakfast potatoes. But I decided that I would just try to make baked potatoes and top them with different things. I had some homemade marinara sauce, and that was incorporated a few times.
The first potato I had was with a fried egg on top. It didn’t take a great picture, and it was missing a little something. I liked it, but thought it needed an extra kick. On my second attempt, I decided to make a basted egg. This worked better than I expected. This was probably the best basted egg I’ve ever made. The yolk was cooked to perfection (for my tastes). Slightly runny, warm, bright orange-yellow, and full of flavor. The bites that had the yolk and the potato together brought some real joy to my tastebuds. Adding a dash of spices gave it the extra kick it needed.
Next up was a chicken parmigiana potato. I had some frozen breaded chicken patties in my freezer, so this was a good way to use my marinara sauce. After the chicken patty and the potato were cooked, I put them together with the marinara sauce and cheese and popped them in the toaster oven for a few minutes. The flavors and the textures all came together really well. This was a delicious meal.
This picture is not pretty, but my next potato was mozzarella sticks (with marinara sauce). I baked the mozzarella sticks, so they were nice and crispy on the outside and very cheesy on the inside. This one tasted like there were two distinct components. The bites with the baked potato and the mozzarella sticks hit my tastebuds in different places. While it tasted good, and each component had good flavor, I didn’t think these worked well together.
Next came a pasta filled potato. I used a microwavable pouch of pasta, which had been sitting on the shelf for awhile. I was still able to use my marinara sauce, so that was a plus. This was another one that was better than I expected. The only drawback for me was that I used pasta that was too big. I think something smaller (mini shells or elbow macaroni, for example) might have worked better. But this was a pleasant dish. There is melted mozzarella cheese on this, but it’s underneath the pasta. This is a real carb heavy dish, and definitely not for everyone.
I finished up the week with an attempt at a potato burger. I had an idea of how I wanted this to work out, and I failed. But at least I tried. I baked the potato, and wanted to smash it down while it was still hot, with the hope of having it a little flatter and being able to use it in place of a bun. That did not work. I was able to smash it down, but when I did that, it broke apart into thirds. I used a frozen, uncooked hamburger patty, and that was a bit disappointing in terms of flavor as well. The best components of this were the thick shredded cheddar cheese and the barbecue sauce (which was needed on this). This was my least favorite of the bunch.
My favorite out of all of these was the chicken parmigiana. I really liked how all the flavors really ended up coming together and working in harmony. I would make that one again. My second favorite was the basted egg. There’s no guarantee that I can make the egg as good as this time, but the flavors still worked together well. The pasta was my third favorite, followed by the mozzarella sticks. The hamburger was last on the list.
I had fun trying the different toppings. I could have just gone with the traditional butter and sour cream, or even go with some steamed veggies, but I wanted to use some things that I had around the house and freezer, and also wanted to see how the different toppings might work. It’s always fun for me to try something new. I stayed within my comfort zone, but brought familiar flavors together in different ways. They didn’t all work, but trying is half the fun. Stay positive!