I had a hard time getting the potatoes soft.
8 long baking potatoes
1/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 teaspoon paprika
coarse salt, to taste
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley (garnish), optional
(for best results, choose oblong potatoes of uniform size.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a large shallow glass baking dish
Peel the potatoes. Place the peeled potatoes on a cutting board and cut a narrow 1/4 inch slice from the bottom of each potato. Discard the slice (this helps the potato lie flat and not roll).
Place two long handled wooden chopsticks on each side of the potato lengthwise. Use a sharp knife and slice each potato crosswise, making 1/4 inch apart slices, cutting down vertically. The chopsticks will prevent the knife from cutting entirely through the potato. You need to leave 1/4 inch of the bottom of the potato intact.
As you finish cutting each potato, drop them into cold water to prevent discoloring. Gently flex the potato fans open while rinsing under cold running water. This rids the potatoes of excess starch that can impede fanning. Dry potatoes well before baking.
Note: Potatoes may be prepared in advance to the above point. Place potatoes in cold water until ready to bake. To bake, dry potatoes well. Place the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon melted butter, paprika, and salt in a food processor; process until blended.
Brush prepared potatoes with 2 tablespoons melted butter (making sure some gets in the potato cracks), and pat the bread crumb mixture on top of each potato.
Place potatoes in the oiled baking dish; cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until they turn crispy and the flesh is soft. Remove from the oven.
To serve, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle minced parsley over the tops of the baked potatoes. Jud's potato was bigger and it could have used an additional 10 minutes.