Before kids, we ate out a lot. I mean seriously a lot. One of our favorite restaurants has the most amazing potato skins. They call them ‘outrageous potato skins: crispy, cheesey and gooey. With melted cheese and bacon.’ Oh my goodness how can you resist that temptation? Then they bring the platter to your table and you just about die looking at the sizzling goodness. It gets better as you bite into a piece. I fear I will never be able to make potato skins that are that good but I can try.
I’ve made fries or potato cubes before and tossed on cheese and bacon. It’s a nice quick and easy treat. But never before now have I made potato skins. I definitely plan to do some tweeking next time. And you may find you’ll want to play around with toppings and amounts as you go as well.
Are these as good as my favorite restaurant potato skins? Not a chance. They were still delicious. Next time I’ll do double the cheese and bacon. You can’t ever go wrong with more cheese and bacon. Also remember to not go overboard on how many you make unless you have a crowd to feed. Potatoes are super filling.
3-4 medium russet potatoes
shredded cheese (cheddar or a mix)
Preheat oven to 400. At this point you have two options for going forward. You can bake both your bacon and potatoes or you can bake just your potatoes and fry your bacon. If you choose to fry your bacon, I cannot offer you any guidance as I prefer baked bacon.
You can do them at the same time by using one cookie sheet and a smaller pan that will fit next to it, for the potatoes. After cooking bacon in the oven, it is now the only way I will cook it. It's practically fool proof. I kid you not. You can get it crispy or floppy or nicely in the middle. 20 minutes at 400 will give you bacon that is perfectly cooked and a tad wiggly. Well, that's perfect in my book anyway.
Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and then lay 2 pieces of bacon per potato you will be cooking. It's always better to have too much bacon than not enough. Set aside. Scrub your potatoes and lightly coat with oil. You can drizzle or spray. Place potatoes in your smaller pan. I used a rectangular cake pan because I knew that would fit nicely next to my cookie sheet. Put both pans in the oven. Cook bacon for 20 minutes and potatoes for an hour.
Remove bacon from oven, cool and drain on paper towels. Chop into pieces, as small as you wish. Set aside.
Remove potatoes from the oven. Using a serrated knife, cut your potatoes in half length wise. Using a spoon or small cookie scoop, remove potato centers leaving 1/4" around the outside and bottom. Save your potato centers for another use.
Turn up your oven to 450. Prepare a cookie sheet with foil and top off with a cooling rack. Place potatoes on cooling rack. Spray or drizzle all sides of potatoes with oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt. This not only helps with the crispness you'll get but it gives a wonderful taste especially to the potato skin. Cook for 10 minutes. Flip potatoes and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove potatoes from oven. Arrange the potatoes bottom side down. Sprinkle pepper into each potato cup. Fill potato with cheese. Top off with bacon. Broil for 2 minutes. This is where I'll change things in the future. Again, fill with cheese and top off with more bacon. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Transfer to a serving platter or plate. Top off with sour cream and onions if you wish.