Friday, 11 May 2012

Baked Potato Skins...


  • 4 large baking potatoes, baked 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper 
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (or use bacon bits)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 4 green onions, sliced 

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (save pulp for another use). Place potatoes skins on a greased baking sheet. Combine oil, Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper; brush over both sides of skins. Bake at 475 degrees F for 7 minutes; turn. Bake until crisp, about 7 minutes more. Sprinkle bacon and cheddar cheese inside skins. Bake 2 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and onions. Serve immediately.

Simply Wonderful! Very flavorful. We had a small neighbors get together and people raved about how good these potatoes were. Shhhh don't tell anyone, but I used older potatoes that were soft. I wasn't sure if they were going to be any good; they were really fantastic. As others suggested I used the olive oil and using bacon bits really was a time saver. I coated the potato with the oil mixture then baked the potatoes for 1 hr at 425 degrees then let the taters sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before scooping out the insides. I followed by coating one side baking 7 min. then the other side and baking 7 min.

Tips & Ideas:  Use this recipe as a guideline and make baked potato wedges! Just cut them in half, then quartered them, and left all the potato. Use melted butter  and brush it on the potato, and put them in the oven skin-side down, and baked as recommended for 7 - 9 minutes. Then add the shredded cheese, and baked until perfect. Add cooked bacon, and topped with sour cream and chives, they were FABULOUS!

If you don't want to spend the time to bake the potatoes, try throwing them in the microwave for about 8-10 minutes on high, and then you can cut them in halves and scoop out the insides. I put the oil/spices mixture on the outsides of the skins and baked them upside-down first. Then after baking for 7 minutes, I pulled them out, coated the insides of the skins, and then baked them for the next 7 minutes. I didn't find them that greasy as others did- just don't put too much of the oil/spices mixture on the skins. Before I put the cheese and bacon bits on the insides of the skins, I took a paper towel and soaked up the little puddles of oil to make them even less greasy.
A microwaved baked potato doesn't hold a candle to one done in the oven. I guess it depends on if you're going for "easy snack" or "impressive appetizer."  Before wrapping with foil and baking the potatoes, I rubbed them with butter and lightly coated them with garlic sea salt. Make sure the oven is hot enough! Otherwise you just get over-cooked potatoes and not the crispier skins. 
Great for a rugby play-off day! Thanks!