Monday, September 12, 2016

Football Snacks - First Tackle Baked Potato Skins

I should know by now, the first time I make something it rarely turns out as pretty as I picture it in my head. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised, but most of the time I'm slightly disappointed in the dish's appearance. That's why I continue to "practice," and each subsequent attempt turns out better and better.

The first new item I decided to tackle for Opening Day of the NFL Season (Broncos v Panthers) is the traditional Baked Potato Skins. An appetizer staple in many restaurants, both small and franchised, this simple little item is fun and quite tasty.

I began by frying the bacon the night before. This had the benefit of saving me time during the game, and had the added benefit of filling the house with the smell of bacon and driving The Boss The Boss crazy because I wouldn't let her have a strip.

The next evening, prior to the game we had T-bone steaks and fresh green beans. Once that meal had settled a little and I finished my beer, I headed back to the kitchen and prepped the potatoes in time with the opening kickoff.

Unintentionally, I kind of did them backwards. Many people put the bacon in first and then the cheese on top. It allows for monitoring how much the cheese melts and determining when to pull them out of the oven. What I did, though, was to put the cheese into the skins first and then sprinkled the top with the bacon. As the cheese melted, the bacon sank, and made it hard to judge the state of the cheese, and also made these less visually appealing than most renditions of the recipe.  So while they may not have been the prettiest thing to come out of my oven, they were tasty enough that The Boss and I ate way more than we should have.

I did learn a bit from these those, including how essential it is to drizzle the potato skins with olive oil prior to adding the ingredients and sticking them back in the oven. If you skip the olive oil, the skins don't crisp up.

Directions:
  1. Bake approximately six potatoes (feel free to use a microwave if you want)
  2. Cut the potatoes in half, remove most of the pulp
  3. Drizzle in olive oil.
  4. Add your chosen ingredients, for instance, cheddar cheese, bacon, chives/green onions, 
  5. Put dressed potatoes in oven pre-heated at 400 degrees or more
  6. Remove once cheese is melted and skins look crisp. Can be 7 - 15 minutes depending on your oven. 
  7. Add sour cream or yogurt if you desire.
Easy enough? Of course. And you can have fun by experimenting each Sunday with new ingredients. Which has me thinking - The Boss and I both like anchoivies. I wonder how those would be.....?

Until Next Time,
Here's how a professional makes this same appetizer.

Potatolly Yours,
Michael