The Super Bowl is only days away, and most sports fans out there are anxious for the big game. Having been born and raised in Arizona, there should be no doubt of my chosen alliance this season. (Actually, I predict most Arizonans were completely shocked to hear the Cardinals have made it this far; usually they’re quite a laughingstock.)
A few weeks ago we learned how to add a Mexican element—pico de gallo with tortilla chips—to our game-day menu. This week, just in time for some last minute grocery shopping, we’re going to tackle another Super Bowl Day favourite: potato skins.
Potato skins are easy and simple to make, and generally quite cost-effective. This particular recipe can be doubled or halved, depending on the size of the crowd. It would even work with just one potato, if you’re watching the game solo, but where’s the fun in that?
You can see my purple kitchen walls in the background. I think they’re so ugly. I’m hoping to update them soon with a mellow butter yellow (also pictured just above the bacon there). What do you think? (Oh, and disregard the ugly blue Formica™ counters. They’ll be a nice dark butcher block.
* 6 small-to medium-sized russet baking potatoes (3 pounds)
* Olive oil
* Freshly-ground pepper
* 6 strips of bacon (or 1/3 cup bacon bits)
* 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (Mozzarella works, too.)
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 2 green onions, thinly sliced, including the greens of the onions
1. Scrub the potatoes clean. When dry, rub potatoes with olive oil and bake in a 400°F oven for about an hour, or until the potatoes are cooked through and give a little when pressed.
[At this point I got sidetracked and stopped taking pictures of the process. Sorry! Luckily, I am basically copying this recipe from elise.com, so if you need more photographic support, click here. There’s lots of good pictures showing how the process works.]
2. (If using pre-cooked bacon bits, disregard this step and continue to Step 3.) While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon strips in a frying pan on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. Crumble.
3. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Cut in half horizontally. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides carefully, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of potato on the skin. (Reserve the potato innards for another use, if you can think of one.)
4. Increase the heat of the oven to 450°F. Brush or rub olive oil all over the potato skins, outside and in. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a cookie sheet. Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then flip the skins over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
5. Arrange the potato skins skin-side down on the cookie sheet. (They should look like little bird nests or bowls.) Sprinkle the insides with freshly ground black pepper, cheese of your choice, and crumbled bacon. Return to the oven. Bake for an additional 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Use tongs to place skins on a serving plate. Add a dollop of sour cream to each skin and garnish with green onions.
Image from here.
6. Serve immediately.
*Note: These are best when served immediately; however, with careful planning, they can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated up to a day ahead of time. About an hour before serving, remove from fridge and let warm to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 450°F. Then, just before guests arrive, proceed with Steps 5 and 6.