Two nights ago I planned on making a classic steak and baked potato dinner. The steak turned out beautifully medium rare and tender. The potato never made it out of the refrigerator. Tonight I had no choice but to make my forgotten baked potato but this had to be special as it would be the sole item on the plate. I soaked my lonesome spud in a bowl of warm well salted water for about 5 minutes to flavor the skin, then wrapped it in aluminum foil and tossed him into a 375-degree preheated oven for about 1 hour.
While Harold was getting toasty and fluffy (yeah, I named my potato) I created the rich filling that would make my naked friend complete.
2 Tbl. finely diced onion
6 large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teas. fresh thyme leaves, de-stemmed
1/2 teas. fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tbl. Marsala
3 Tbl. cream or milk
1/2 teas. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbl. fresh minced parsley
Salt to taste (at the end)
Place a large splash of olive oil in a saute pan and soften the minced onions. Add sliced mushrooms. You may wish to add extra olive oil as mushrooms soak up liquids like a sponge. Add the black pepper, fresh thyme Marsala, cream and butter and saute until mushrooms are softened and all ingredients well combined. Toss into the mix the fresh parsley and only then season to taste with salt.
After removing Harold from the oven, cut a slit halfway down and with your hands covered with towels, add pressure to the potato forcing it to open the cavity. Fluff up the inside baked potato with a fork, place it on a bed of arugula seasoned in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour the mushroom sauce of the baked potato.
Thank you Harold for your sacrifice, you were yummy!
COOKING NOTE: When sauteeing mushrooms, never, ever, EVER add salt to mushrooms until they are done cooking. By adding salt i the beginning of cooking, their water is immediately released and you end up boiling them and not browning.