Potato Skins

potatoskins

Superbowl 2016 is in a week, and whether or not you have a team you’re rooting for, you probably have an invite to someone’s viewing party anyways.  If you want to bring an appetizer that’s a little more creative than chips and guac, potato skins are a great option without being overly complicated.  All your friends will be thanking you too.

I’m a big potato fan.  Whether they’re french fries or chips, there is no wrong way to serve it.  Potato skins are a great appetizer though because they’re more substantial than this tuber’s other iterations.  They also are easy-to-grab vessels of flavor, filled with cheese, sour cream, bacon, and any other toppings you desire.  So even if you don’t have a Superbowl party to go to, potato skins are great for any occasion calling for tasty snacks to please just about anyone.  A serving tip is to prepare them up until you fill them with cheese and bacon, and bring them to the party to rewarm, fill and place under the broiler briefly before putting them out.

Potato Skins (Yield: 8-16 appetizer servings)

Ingredients:

8 russet potatoes
2T vegetable/canola/grapeseed oil
2T melted unsalted butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
10 slices of bacon
1/2 cup sour cream
4T chopped chives
Pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Scrub potatoes clean.  Dry with a kitchen or paper towel.
  3. Rub 2T of oil all over the potatoes to coat. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes.  The potatoes should be tender and the skins just starting to get crispy.
  4. While the potatoes are baking, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain off the oil. (Tip: save the bacon fat in a jar for later use as substitute for oil or butter, such as for frying eggs.) Finely chop bacon and set aside.
  5. Once potatoes are done, cool until easy to handle.  Keep the oven on.
  6. Slice potatoes length-wise. Scoop out insides (save flesh for another dish such as mashed potatoes). For loaded potato skins, leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the flesh (see photo above).  For regular potato skins, leave only a remnant of the potato flesh.  Brush melted butted over the insides of each potato half.
  7. For loaded potato skins, place potatoes back on the baking sheet and bake for another 20 minutes to allow the skins to crisp further. For regular potato skins, bake only for 10 minutes.
  8. In a bowl, blend shredded cheese and bacon.
  9. Remove potato skins and fill with the cheese and bacon mixture.  Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted – about 4-5 minutes.
  10. Spoon sour cream on top of each potato skin and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.
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