31 Days of Frugal Meals // Day 21 The Best Baked Potato Ever

October 21, 2012

I can't hardly believe there are only 10 days left in this blog series. What on earth shall I blog about afterwards? I have a few posts lined up for the first week in November, but past that I am clueless. If you have anything you'd like me to post about just let me know. I'd love to do a Q&A post, that could be fun. 

Considering this weekend was the Minister's Wives Retreat I kinda sorta cheated on every aspect of the word, I cheated on the way I eat (Oh I ate some yummy junk!), I didn't cook Friday night or Saturday, and I didn't cook today. But in an effort to save blog face I cooked lunch for Jeremy before leaving town, and I am glad I did because I do not have it in me to cook today. When I cooked Friday I should have made a lot, because other than the amazing Pumpkin Custard I had this weekend all I want is another baked potato. 

Serves 2
Calories - should not be thought of or discussed
What you need:
2 Russet, baking potatoes
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Vegetable Oil
Kosher Salt
Butter (I used Brummel & Brown Spread)
Fat Free Sour Cream (about 1/2 cup...we use a lot)
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup BBQ Sauce (we used Sweet Baby Ray's)
Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Fried Onions (recipe below) 

What to do:
For the BBQ Pulled Chicken-
Place chicken in a small crockpot and set on low to cook for 6-8 hours or high to cook for 2-4. Add a few dashes of worcestershire sauce and top with about a 1/2 cup of bbq sauce. When chicken is cooked through shred by pulling apart with two forks. Add in more bbq sauce if you want it thicker and leave on warm until ready to serve
Baked Potatoes-
Set oven to 350 degrees. Wash potatoes well and rub with oil, then sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes on the middle rack and bake for an hour, or until the skin is crispy and the middle in soft. I cut into mine and realized they were not completely done and nuked them a few minutes. 
Poke potato down the middle lengthwise with a fork, and then push both ends together. It should open up. If that doesn't work just hack at it with a knife, whatever works. Top with butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, cheese, and fried onion. Serve and be prepared to eat a lot of fried onions. 

You could also make this with a sweet potato, I love it that way. I also like to add green onions, but Jeremy doesn't appreciate my onion overkilled breathe! This can be made even cheaper by using a can of Hormel Turkey Chili, yummy and it saves money. 

Mom and I have been making these fried onions for a few years for no real reason most of the time. They go great on top of anything, baked potatoes, steaks, burgers, and I almost positive they would top ice cream well too. Just kidding. I do however, adore these things even though massive amounts of fried food guilt are involved. They are worth ever bit of it and it helps to not log this into WW or any other calorie counter. Like my Pop always says, "Calories only count if Nanny watches me eat them." Therefore, calories only count if My Fitness Pal gets wind of it, or our friend Gerard posts a pic of me eating them on Twitter.

 It has happend people, beware of friends who attempt to out your closet chocolate eating. Or fried onion eating for that matter.  

What you need:
1 large onion
2 heaping tbsp corn meal, self rising flour, and masa harina
Vegetable Oil
Butter Milk (or just use regular milk with a few tbsp of white vinegar)
The following spices to taste - 
ground red pepper
garlic powder
ground thyme (just a little)

What to do:
Peel onion and cut in half. Slice thin. Soak sliced onions in buttermilk for 5-10 minutes, just enough to cover onions. In a gallon size Ziploc bag mix self rising flour, corn meal, masa harina, and spices. Strain onions from buttermilk and toss into the bag. Zip the bag well and shake to coat well. In the meantime heat oil in a cast iron skillet on med-high heat. You will need about an inch to an inch and a half of oil in the pan. Don't over fill it or it could splatter out and cause a grease fire. (I'm paranoid) When oil is hot enough that it sizzles with a bit of flour is dropped in, start to add onions. You will want to add it in small batches, as to not crowd the pan. When onions are golden brown take them out of the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels. If you like fried things salty then salt every batch, otherwise wait to the end and salt the entire batch at once. If they taste salty I don't add much salt after they are done. Serve fried onions on just about anything, or cover up the evidence and eat them alone in a dark room while watching TV.

Funny side note: Notice how the toaster oven looks like it was set on fire? I've had that thing since my single days, at one point I became obessed with Smores, Needless to say I had no real fire so I started roasting them in the toaster oven. The only side effect was about 5 extra pounds and a toaster oven that looks like it survived a house fire! I'd replace it, but it works great, it is just as ugly as can be lol. 

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