Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Potato Skins

There comes a time in every wannabe chef''s life, when your small concoctions here and there make you realize you can do anything.  You can make that pesto instead of buying it, you can make your brownies from scratch and add nuts and peanut butter chips to your heart's content.  And this year, we realized we could do more than just buy potato skins as we celebrate New Year's Eve.  We wanted to make this awesome appetizer from scratch.   Unlike the boxed version which makes only 8 potato skins that are small and often not even that crispy, these home made potato skins really bring this bacon and cheesy treat to a whole new level.  Best part of course is that these do not cost $4.99 for a box of 8 halves.  We estimate the cost to be about $2.00 for 8 halves.

Start by preparing the baked potatoes. Microwaving them is an option however we recommend throwing them in the oven, the potato is easier to work with.

Make sure to coat the potatoes in olive oil and wrapped in tin foil. Bake the potatoes for 60 minutes at 400F.

While the potatoes are in the oven becoming delicious, grate some cheddar cheese.

We used bacon bits for these appetizers but if you want to use the real thing cook the bacon and let it cool during the hour cook time. Then cut them into small pieces.

Once the potatoes are cool to the touch cut them horizontally, in half, and then scoop out the inside.

Ashley's Tip: use a melon scooper to carve out the middle.  However try to leave 1/4 inch of potato around every edge.

Coat both sides of the potatoes in canola or vegetable oil; try to avoid olive oil as we want the edges to get crispy and smoke.

Aubree's Note: We didn't have a brush to coat the potatoes so we became resourceful and used a spatula.  It worked really well, you never know what tool can be used for multiple purposes. 

Sprinkle on some salt and place the potatoes on a baking sheet.  Try to use a heavy duty sheet in order to avoid warping.

Bake the potatoes for 10 minutes at 450F.

Flip over the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.

Once the potatoes are done cooking, flip the potato skins right side up and place cheese and the bacon bits into opening.

Sprinkle with pepper and return to the 450 oven for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

These potato skins are best eaten with ranch dressing.  Please consume immediately and enjoy these delicious appetizers.


Medium to Large Potatoes
Olive Oil
Canola Oil
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
Bacon Bits

Bake the potatoes by rubbing in olive oil and wrapping in aluminum foil.  Bake for 60 minutes at 400F.
Once cooled, cut potatoes in half and scoop out the middle of the potato.
Coat in canola oil and salt.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 450F.  Flip potatoes and bake for another 10 minutes.
Once cool enough to touch put cheese and bacon bits into middle of potatoes.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Bake for another 2 minutes.
Add a scoop of ranch dressing and enjoy!

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