Baked potato slabs are the perfect solution for a party appetizer or side dish. The ingredients are probably already in your pantry and refrigerator. The key to this version lies primarily in the method which produces and delicious crispy, browned crust. The herb butter adds remarkable flavor to normally bland potato skin recipes and their like. (In fact, save the herb butter recipe to make awesome garlic bread.) Save time by baking the potatoes a day or two in advance.
You’ll note that I’ve included instructions on actually baking the potatoes. It may seem like a no-brainer to bake a potato. However, below is the method is used by high-end steakhouses to make those perfect baked potatoes that never seem to come out right at home. Do try it.
Baked Potato Slabs Recipe
3 large russet or Idaho baking potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup or 1/2 stick) butter, softened or at room temperature
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (about) kosher salt
1/4 cup (about) bacon bits
1 cup (about) fine-shredded Cheddar cheese (see Notes)
1/2 cup (about) sour cream
1/4 cup sliced green onions (may substitute chives)
To Bake the Potatoes:
Scrub the potatoes clean and dry them. Prick each potato several times with a fork. Rub the potatoes with the olive oil, then sprinkle on all sides with kosher salt.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Place potatoes on a shallow jelly roll pan. Bake about 40 to 45 minutes, until you can pierce them with a toothpick. Don’t overcook. They should be cooked through, but still firm. Let them cool completely to room temperature. This may be done a day in advance. Refrigerate until needed, up to 2 days.
To Make the Baked Potato Slabs:
When ready to make the baked potato slabs, preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a 10- x 15-inch jelly roll pan with non-stick foil. Lightly coat with butter-flavored vegetable spray.
Whisk together the butter, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder to make the herb butter.
Slice the cooled baked potatoes into 1/2-inch thick rounds (slabs). Brush one side of each slab with the herbed butter mixture. Sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper. Place the slabs buttered sides down on the prepared jelly roll pans, then sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven. Flip each round over. Top with bacon bits and Cheddar cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
To serve, top with a dab of sour cream (see Notes) and sprinkle with green onions or chives.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
• If you are a cheese-lover, you may need more than 1 cup of shredded Cheddar. Load ’em up!
• In preparation for a party, an easy way to add the sour cream to the entire tray is to load up a zip-top bag with the sour cream, press out the air, and seal. Snip off one bottom corner of the bag and use it to pipe a dollop on each slab.
Baked Potato Slabs Recipe Photo ©2019 Peggy Filippone