There was a really big football game here in Utah on Saturday. University of Utah was taking on TCU, They were both nationally ranked, ranked number four and six or something. ESPN even came with their whole crew broadcasting Game Day which I guess is a big deal for our little state. I knew close to nothing about this, my husband had to tell me that this was a big deal. Once again when it comes to football blah blah blah ESPN Game day blah did blah. That was the gist of my knowledge of the event.
The Utes LOST, not only did the lose they got a bushwhacking. Truly brought joy to my heart, they are after all our rivals. Both my parents and four of my siblings graduated form the Y (BYU). That is where my heart lives when it comes to football. My mom used to even wake us up to the BYU fight song, "Rise and shout the cougars are out..."
What does any of this have to do with potatoes you may ask, well I will tell you. When there is a big game I make potato skins. It is my assignment for the Superbowl every year, and they are really tasty.
Are you ready here we go. Heat up your oven to 425.
Next potatoes I like to use Idaho russets. I also like to look through the bag for little ones, Potato skins are suppose to be an appetizer and not a side dish so I like small ones.
Next you are going to need to wash them and you really need to scrub the living life out of them a clean potato is a happy potato.
Here is the tricky part and the part that makes all the difference. In a large bowl put in about 1/4 cup of oil, nothing fancy just veggie oil works. Add two teaspoons of salt, I used sea salt.
Now throw some potatoes in the bowl and toss them around, until well covered. Continue until all your potatoes are thoroughly covered.
Next step is to line a pan with foil and place on the bottom rack of the oven. Put the potatoes on the middle rack, make sure that they are floating over the pan. As they cook the oil will drip, and when they steam up the pan catches the mess and saves your oven and your house from getting smokey.
Cook your potatoes. I wish I could tell you that I have timed this, and have it down to the second on how long to cook the potatoes, but the truth is that I wait until the house is starting to smell like potatoes and then check them by seeing if I can squish them. If I can't squish them I cook them longer. I know you can call me crazy it's OK. If I were to say how long, I think it would be 45-55 min. You really want to get a hot pad and see if they squish before pulling them out. See don't they look fabulous.
Next you need to cool them a little. If you cool them to much they will get a little to gummy and then be yucky. I usually cool them just to where I can hold them with a rag and not burn myself.
Next is to cut them into quarters. You can cut them in half but they will go farther if you quarter them.
After that you need to scoop out the inside. You need to leave about a 1/4 of an inch of potato on the skins. Just take of the point I use a spoon or you can use a paring knife.
Now lay out all your skins out on a tray. I like to line it with foil because I really don't like cleaning baked on cheese of my cookie sheets. Taking the time to line your tray will save you hours of soaking later.
Yep you guessed it cover the skins with cheese I use the shredded Colby Jack or, you can use Cheddar. You don't need anything too fancy but you really want a lot of cheese because lets face it, cheese makes it tasty.
Next you cover them with bacon because if cheese makes it tasty then bacon is going to make it outstanding. You can buy already cooked crumbled bacon, that is what I used. You can also make your own by cutting bacon into small pieces, and frying up until crispy, take it out of the grease with a slotted spoon anddrain on a paper towel. If you don't like to be burned by popping bacon grease then you can buy it already done for you with out any fear of grease popping in your eye.
Cook them at 450 for 10-15 min. until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Take them out and top them with chopped chives or green onions and serve with ranch dressing.
I really wish I had a picture of them all hot a yummy, but while I was making these guest arrived as I pulled them out of the oven and they were gone before I could get a picture.
If you try them let me know what you think, I think they are super tasty.
Also if you are wondering what to do with this.
I usually fry them up the next day with an egg on top. If you are really handy and can make bread, you can use it for potato bread. I am open to any other ideas let me know what you did with your potato guts.