Crispy Baked Potato Skins

Some days, you just want to indulge in some junk food, you know? However, if you’re me, it would be unwise to give in to that urge as often as it occurs, because it occurs… a lot. And, let’s just be honest here – my pants are tight enough as it is, okay? So, while I wouldn’t consider this recipe to necessarily be HEALTH FOOD, it’s a fairly healthy approximation of a traditionally deep-fried bar snack.

This purpose of this post is more to teach you the method of making these potato skins, than to teach you what to fill them with – you can change up the filling in a million and one ways, depending on your mood, and what’s in your fridge/pantry. This method of baking the skins gives them more of the crispy texture that frying them usually imparts, without the mess (and fat/calorie fest) of actually frying them. I typically make these as a dinner for my husband and I, but they are equally wonderful as an appetizer for a crowd.

BBQ Black Bean Potato Skins
Serves 2

3 medium size russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1/4 cup (or more) barbecue sauce – a thicker sauce works best, here
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

1.) Heat your oven to 375°. While it is heating, scrub your potatoes well, pierce them all over with a fork, and line them up on a foil-lined baking sheet.

2.) Bake potatoes for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until they’re easily pierced with a knife. If you don’t want to wait that long to bake the potatoes in the oven, you can go ahead and bake them in the microwave – one medium sized potato should take about 6 minutes to cook in the microwave.

3.) When the potatoes are baked, cut them in half, lengthwise (you can either wait for them to cool enough so you can handle them with your bare hands, or you can just hold them with an oven mitt while you cut them – I typically choose the latter). Use a spoon to scoop the potato flesh out of each potato half, leaving about 1/4″ of potato in each shell. Bump the temp of your oven up to 400° while you do this.

4.) When all your potato halves have been scooped out, either brush or spray the inside of them with your vegetable oil, and then season them with salt and pepper. Then, lay them cut-side down on the lined baking sheet, and repeat this process on the outside of the potato shells. (You just want to give them a light coating of oil – not soak them. I use my oil mister for this part.)

5.) Once the outside of the potatoes has been brushed with oil and seasoned, put the baking sheet back into your oven. After 6-7 minutes, flip the skins so they’re cut-side up, and bake for another 6-7 minutes, until they’re browned and crispy around the edges.

6.) While the skins bake, prep your fillings. Mix the black beans with the barbecue sauce, and grate your cheese. Once the potato skins have gotten crispy, take them out of the oven, and fill them up – spoon the beans into the shells, and top with your grated cheese. Put them baking sheet back into the oven for 4 or 5 minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted.

There you have it! I have probably made a dozen variations of these over the years – a standard cheddar and bacon combination, broccoli and cheese, pepperoni and mozzarella, Mexican style with refried beans, jalapeños, and cheese… the options are limitless! This would also be something fun to make with a crowd, or with a bunch of kids… prep a bunch of toppings and a bunch of empty shells, and let everyone make their own creation! A couple potato skins with a salad makes the perfect dinner.

Too bad I wasn’t smart enough to post this BEFORE the Super Bowl,
Tina

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One thought on “Crispy Baked Potato Skins

  1. Pingback: Barbecue Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing « The Dough Will Rise Again

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