Loaded Potato Skins

Potatoes have got to be the most loved vegetable in the world. I am yet to meet a person who doesn’t love them. Not to mention how versatile a potato can be, you can boil them, bake them, fry them. Potatoes are used in a staggering range of recipes; mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, potato dumplings, twice-baked potatoes, potato soup, potato salad, potatoes au gratin and the lists go on. Often after a hectic day at university or work, I would text my mom to prepare a huge plate of fries for me for when I reached home. There is something about potatoes that even on their own makes them the ultimate comfort food.

I recently received a request for loaded potato skins. A plate full of hot crispy potato skins filled with crunchy bacon, melted cheese and fresh scallions devoured with heaps of chilled sour cream, ahhhh I can’t think of a better combination right now. That’s the drawback of being a foodie! You keep falling in love with everything.

For this recipe Russet potatoes are best because they have thick skins. You may however use any potato available to you. I made two versions of potato skins today: classic and stuffed jalapeno. Most restaurants deep fry the potato skins, but I feel that leaves them greasy. A second option is to microwave them, but I feel the oven method is best as it allows the potatoes to hold their shapes. This recipe yields 8 potato skins and serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes 4 medium
  • Oil 2 tbsp
  • Butter 2 tbsp
  • Parsley ½ tsp
  • Garlic powder ½ tsp
  • Seasoned Salt ¼ tsp
  • Turkey Bacon 4 slices
  • Cheddar Cheese 1 cup
  • Jalapenos 2
  • Cream Cheese 2 tbsp
  • Green Onions or Chives as required (for garnishing)
  • Sour Cream 200g

Method:

Scrub the potatoes clean and pat them dry with a paper towel. Pierce washed potatoes with the tines of a fork. This will help steam to escape from the potatoes as they bake. Rub some oil onto the potatoes. Line a tray with foil and bake potatoes at 180℃ for 40-50 minutes. Keep checking at regular intervals until the potatoes are soft enough that when a wooden skewer is inserted it goes in smoothly.

Once cooked, allow the potatoes to cool down a bit. Cut them into halves using a sharp knife. Using a small spoon, hollow out the potatoes to resemble a boat shape. Be careful not to break the potato skins. I have left the potato lining a bit thick as I was working with thin-skinned early potatoes. The thinner you keep your potato lining the crispier your potato skins will be.

Melt butter and add finely chopped parsley, garlic powder and salt to it. Brush the inside and outside of the potatoes with herbed butter.

Prepare turkey bacon by slicing it into small pieces. Fry in 1 tbsp of oil until the pieces are browned and crispy.

Place the potato skins on a metal grill. Grill the potato skins at 200℃ for 10-15 minutes or until they’re golden and crispy. Turn them over and fill them as follows;

Classic Loaded Potato Skins:

Fill prepared potato skins with crispy turkey bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Broil at 200℃ till cheese is melted and bubbly.

Stuffed Jalapeno Potato Skins:

Cut a Jalapeno into halves and clean out the seeds. Fill the jalapeno cavity with cream cheese. Place stuffed jalapenos into prepared potato skins, add turkey bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Broil at 200℃ till cheese is melted and bubbly.

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