Let’s get something clear: I only watch football so I have an excuse to make (and eat) this Stuffed Potato Skins recipe. Oh, sure, I make and serve a bunch of other snacks throughout football season, but these remain my favorite.
And why not? Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Parmesan cheese, AND potatoes? That’s a flavor touchdown if you ask me.
Do I get points for at least knowing something about football? No? Fine. Be glad I know how to make football snacks, then.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve got nothing against football. I’ve sat and listened to the games every Sunday and Monday, and now Thursday nights, for years. I’ve gone to live games plenty of times, and I’ve even never once turned down an invitation to tailgate outside the stadium. Heck, I’ve even been known to turn on football just to listen to it in the background while I clean house.
Stuffed Potato Skins Recipe
But I do not understand it. I’ve tried asking but, apparently, asking a football fan to explain the game to you while the game is being played is not okay. Oh, they’re nice enough to start with: they’ll talk, with one eye on the TV, about how “we” need a forward push and how four downs make one down.
Try to get them to explain that last part, though, and you get The Scowl. Or maybe that’s just my husband. Poor man explained football to me so many times that we both just gave up. He watches and screams at the television. I thumb through magazines and say “Go sports!” whenever he starts cheering.
And we eat. Boy, do we eat. We’ll go through a plate of my Stuffed Potato Skins Recipe, plus a batch of Homemade Wheat Thins spread on Homemade Pimento Cheese. Sometimes, if I’ve been busy in the kitchen, we’ll have Homemade Bologna to go with it all, too.
Hm. I may have just figured out why my diets always fail.
If you happen to be a football fan there’s no reason to knock yourself out making these on Game Day. In fact, I like to bake a bunch of potatoes the day ahead, then scoop the flesh out while they’re warm, make the stuffing, then chill it. The skins themselves keep nicely stacked in a container in the fridge overnight.
The next day, brush with the oil and spice mixture, bake them on both sides until they’re slightly crispy, then stuff and bake them some more.
The winner is the one who eats the most. Or that’s how it works in my house, at least.
Stuffed Potato Skins
- 4 large Russet potatoes
- 2 tbsp sea salt divided
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese finely shredded
- 2 green onions sliced (whites and greens separated)
- sour cream optional
- chives minced (optional)
Bake the potatoes
Put the racks on the top and middle third of the oven. Put a cookie sheet on the bottom rack. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200° C / gas mark 6.
Wash the potatoes. Dry very well with a towel. Using a fork, poke each potato 10 times.
In a bowl, combine 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. sea salt. Add the potatoes and mix so each potato is coated with oil and salt. Place the potatoes on the top rack over the cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour.
Make the filling
In a small bowl, combine the remaining oil, Parmesan cheese, salt, and spices. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the chopped bacon, cheddar cheese, and minced white parts of the green onions.
Make the skins
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 475°F / 245°C / gas mark 7.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle (about 15 minutes), carefully slice them lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh out of each potato leaving a 1/4 edge on the bottom and sides. (Discard or use for another purpose.)
Brush the inside of the skins with the oil and spice mixture then turn them upside down and place them on the cookie sheet. Brush the outside of the skins and bake cut side down for 6 minutes. Turn cut-side up and bake an additional 6 minutes.
Remove the skins from the oven and stuff with the bacon-cheese mixture. Return them to the cookie sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is melted and begins to bubble.
Sprinkle with the minced green parts of the green onions. Top with sour cream and minced chives if desired.