Deb has a communications degree and applies her talents to her position as Marketing Specialist at Sharon Parq Associates. In her spare time she spends time with her children and grandchildren and devotes time to her church.
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I loved going out to my favorite restaurant and having, as an appetizer, some nice crisp potato skins. That is until I ran across a recipe that allows me to make great-tasting potato skins at home. I found that I could make them at home at a fraction of what it cost me at the restaurant.
Potato skins are easy to make. I have seen recipes that call for potato skins to be deep fried; it really isn't necessary as long as you bake the skins at a high enough temperature that allows the skins to get crispy enough to hold the toppings.
Start out by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Select six medium-sized russet baking potatoes that are about the same size. This ensures that they will bake evenly, in the same amount of time. Scrub and wash the potatoes well, being sure to get them clean, and then dry them. Rub the potatoes with olive oil.
Bake the potatoes in the pre-heated oven for about 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. They are done when you can prick the potatoes with a fork easily. When the potatoes are finished baking remove them from the oven, and then prick each potato a couple of times. This helps to let out the steam. Let the potatoes set and cool for about 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are baking, fry the bacon in a frying pan. Fry the bacon on a medium-low heat till the bacon is crisp. Frying the bacon should take about 15 minutes. Remove the bacon from the frying pan and place the bacon onto a paper towel to drain. Let the bacon cool. When the bacon has cooled, crumble the bacon and set it aside.
While you are waiting for the bacon to cool and the potatoes to bake, grate the cheese and set it aside to use later.
Once that the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon remove the pulp of the potatoes by scooping it out, leaving 1/4 inch of potato in the shell. (Save the pulp of the potato for other uses such as mashed potatoes or potato soup.)
Make sure the oven is still at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub canola oil all over the potato skin, both on the outside and the inside of the potato. Sprinkle salt on the inside of the skin. Place the potatoes on a broiler pan (or something that can take the high temperature of the oven). Cook the skins for 12-13 minutes and then turn the skins over and cook for an additional 12-13 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool just enough that you can handle the skins.
Re-arrange the potato skins so that you can add the ingredients. Sprinkle pepper on the inside of the potato skins, add cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and sprinkle lightly the parmesan cheese. Place the skins back into the oven. Broil the potato skins till the cheese is melted and bubbly. This should take about 2 minutes.
When finished, remove the skins from the oven. Be careful not to burn yourself as you place the potato skins onto a serving plate. Top each potato skin with sour cream and sprinkle the green onions on top of the sour cream. Serve immediately. This recipe will serve six.