Potato Skins with Cheese, Chives + Bacon

Potato SkinsPotato Skins are my favorite stand-by bar food.  What are my other options? Nachos: Done right, YES, but why is it so hard for bars to get nachos right? Chicken wings: I can’t get past the thought (and feel) of chewing off the bone. Fried calamari: Too fried.

Potato Skins it is, then. And they are so easy to make at home, and add or limit ingredients to them make as healthy as you want (…adding chopped broccoli and cutting back on cheese come to mind).

Potato Skins-6Or, as unhealthy as you want. I don’t judge.

Potato Skins-5Potato Skins can be made from items you probably have in stock, in about 20 minutes; they are also a great item to prep in advance and then throw under the broiler for a few minutes when you are ready to eat or serve. And why don’t people eat potato skins for breakfast? They are filled with breakfast foods. I say: do it. I am tagging this post for “Breakfast & Brunch.” There. It’s done.

Potato Skins-4You can top a Potato Skin with anything, but it will be held together best with cheese (I mean, of course – cheese is a cure for most things). These pretties were made with a few ounces of cheddar cheese and brie cheese (left over from a party cheese platter), bacon, and chives, and topped with a bit of sliced green onion. I served them with a bowl of salsa for topping, but they are fine on their own, or try them with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Potato Skins with Cheese, Chives + Bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Add any chopped toppings to these easy crowd-pleasers... broccoli, chicken or steak, different cheeses, the list goes on! This recipe is for 4 potatoes --> 8 open-face potato skins, but it is easily adapted.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 8 open-faced skins
Ingredients
  • 4 Russet Potatoes (or other baking potatoes), any size
  • 1 c shredded or very finely chopped cheese (cheddar, brie, co-jack, mozzarella - or any combo)
  • 2 pieces thick-cut bacon
  • 1 T snipped chives
  • 2 green onions, white and beginning of green parts, sliced very thin
Instructions
  1. Prick each potato with a fork in several places, and wrap each in a paper towel. Microwave two at a time for 7 minutes. They should yield to the touch when you remove them from the microwave. If they are smaller potatoes, they will need less time; if they are larger, they may need another minute.
  2. Set the first two potatoes aside to cool a bit while you put the second set in the microwave and start working on the bacon.
  3. Chop the bacon finely and add to a cold skillet. Heat over medium-high, stirring to make sure all sides get cooked. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain. {Or, microwave the bacon!}
  4. Shred the cheese and chop the chives, and in a medium bowl, mix together the cheese, bacon, and chives.
  5. When the potatoes have cooled, slice them in half using a serrated knife (so you don't tear the skin), and use a (regular old) spoon to remove much of the inside, leaving about ¼" of insides bordering the skin. Reserve the insides for another use, like mashed potatoes or to brown up with eggs at breakfast (or Quinoa Breakfast Cakes!)- but you won't need it for these Potato Skins.
  6. Cover a broiler pan or heavy rimmed jelly roll pan with foil, and place the 8 potato skin halves on the foil.
  7. Divide the filling into two halves, and then each half into half again (four piles total so far), and then one more time, so you have 8 little piles.
  8. Place one pile of filling into each potato skin, spreading it around to cover the potato.
  9. Place the pan on a rack about 4-6" from the broiler, and set the timer for 5 minutes. If they aren't melted, bubbly, and browned after 5 minutes, STAND OVER THEM for another minute. {Don't walk away when you are broiling!}

Potato Skins-3Quick tip for disposing of the bacon grease that you will be left with in your skillet after you remove the browned crunchy pieces: Line a small bowl with tin foil, and pour the grease in. Once it hardens (toss in the fridge if you’re in a hurry), just lift out the tin foil, fold, and throw away.

Potato Skins-2

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