Somehow the noble potato skin has become synonymous with chain restaurants and the frozen food aisle in the supermarket, but a creative home-made version of this cheesy, junk food giant is a must have on any game day menu! Go on and give them a try and remember changing up the toppings on the potatoes will prevent your offerings from becoming mundane.
Game Day Potato Skins (makes 1 dozen skins)
Go ahead and substitute the bacon for small broccoli florets to put a vegetarian spin on these game day treats; just don’t think they are good for you if you do!
- 6 small russet potatoes
- Canoloa Oil for frying
- salt and pepper
- 1 Cup Medium Cheddar Cheese
- 5 Slices of thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 Scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ C Sour Cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, prick each one several times with a fork and place into the preheated oven to bake for 1 hour or until easily pierced with a wooden skewer. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly before cutting each one in half lengthwise. Scoop out enough potato from each half to create shallow boats that are about ½” thick.
Heat 2”of canola oil in a frying pan until a bread cube sizzles on contact. Fry the skins in batches, turning frequently, until the exteriors begin to crisp and potato is turning golden brown at the edges (about 3 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Season the skins with salt and pepper and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle the skins with ½ the crumbled bacon and ½ of the sliced scallions. Divide the cheese (1 generous Tablespoon per potato) among the skins and top with the remaining bacon. Return the skins to the oven until the cheese melts (about 5 minutes).
Top each potato skin with 1 teaspoon of sour cream and sprinkle with the remaining scallions. Serve at once.
Potato Skin Variations:
Once you’ve made a batch of basic potato skins you can feel free to get creative with the toppings! If you are looking for a starting point try four of my favorites and then put your own spin on the skins.
Artichoke: Top the skins with quartered artichoke hearts, sautéed spinach w/garlic and smoked mozzarella and bake. Garnish with sliced scallions and diced roasted red pepper.
Italian Beef: Top the skins with shredded Chicago Style Italian Beef and Provolone cheese and bake. Garnish with hot or mild gardinera and grated Parmesan.
Chorizo and Guac: Top the skins with cooked ground chorizo, diced poblano pepper and queso fresco before baking. Garnish with sour cream and guacamole.
Wisconsin Beer Cheese
- 1 (2 pound) block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 t hot sauce
- 1/4 t cayenne
- 1 (12oz) bottle Honey Bown Lager
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the cheese, onion, garlic, hot sauce and cayenne until well beaten. Add the beer a little at a time and beat until incorporated after each addition until blended and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use as a dip or a spread and even for the occasional grilled cheese sandwich!