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The Perfect Snack: Homemade Potato Skins

potato skinsLike your mom used to always say, the skin is the healthiest part of the potato. Granted, bacon, cheese and sour cream may not add to the health quotient, but when you’re making Super Bowl snacks, you need at least one thing you can point to and say “There are vitamins in there.” And besides being the one part of your Super Bowl spread with nutritional value, potato skins are delicious. Most restaurant potato skins are the frozen variety and when you make the genuine thing, you can taste the difference immediately. Smoky bacon, sharp cheddar and tangy sour cream sour cream combine perfectly with the earthiness of the potato. It’s wonderful.

Homemade Potato Skins

4 russet potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed
canola oil
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2-3 strips bacon
3 tablespoons minced parsley
3 tablespoons scallions, shallots, or red onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepperӬsour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub and dry your potatoes. Pierce each potato a few time with a fork.

Brush oil all over the potatoes, place on a sturdy stainless steel baking sheet. Bake potatoes for an hour, until the skin has wrinkled and the potatoes are soft to the touch. Remove from baking sheet and set aside to cool until they can be handled.

Cut the potatoes in half, and scoop out the potato flesh, leaving a 1/4″ of potato flesh all around. Reserve the extra flesh for mashed potatoes, or another potato dish.

Turn the oven to 450 degrees. Brush both sides of the potatoes liberally with canola oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Lay the potatoes flesh-side up on the baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes with tongs, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry up your bacon so that it is nice and crisp. Place the cooked bacon on a few paper towels while it cools. Once you can handle the bacon, crumble it.

Remove the potato skins from the oven, turn flesh side up, and sprinkle each potato evenly with the cheese and bacon bits. Place the skins back into the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle each skin with the scallion or shallot, parsley, a twist of fresh pepper, and a dollop of sour cream. Serve immediately.

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