Day 2 – Loaded Potato Skins
Take a plain potato, cook it whole, scoop out the contents and fill the gap with whatever the hell you want.
Perhaps because it’s so unapologetically blokey food, or perhaps because of its origins in the dens and drinking halls of east-coast America, there is something particularly take-me-as-I-am about these tasty bites that makes you forget, if only temporarily, that these spuds are loaded with far more than just flavour.
Surely they must be the last word in Sometimes Food.
Indeed, if you want to co-opt them to an Australian table, I suggest you make these a barbecue side dish, or part of a tapas-style meal of many small dishes, shared amongst many under spring or autumn skies (for me, the danger of eating them in cold weather is that I’ll simply eat too many).
That said, they are worth the risk. Moreish, packed full of flavour, incredibly versatile, they will always be popular with your family and friends. Deploy them at your own discretion.
Makes 8 large pieces
4 large potatoes*; sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper; 3 rashers bacon; ½ tsp paprika; pinch chilli flakes (optional); 1 ½ cups grated cheddar or tasty cheese; 1 small red or green capsicum, de-seeded and finely diced; 1 tsp dijon or seeded mustard; ¼cup (60ml) sour cream; 1 hard-boiled egg
*Use potatoes that are evenly shaped and are quite wide, to help get a uniform shape to the finished results
Pre-heat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Scrub the potatoes well and leave their skin on. Bake the potatoes for 45 mins to one hour until they are cooked through OR microwave them, with skins pricked a few times with a fork, on HIGH for 6 minutes or until cooked through. Allow the spuds to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium heat and fry off the bacon until crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towel and set aside,
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving a shell that is about 1cm thick. Use the scooped out potato in your next mash, or add it to flour to make a quick gnocchi or a tin of salmon to make some fish cakes. Place the potato skins on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little paprika.
In a small bowl, combine chilli flakes, cheese, capsicum, mustard, sour cream and crumbled bacon and mix well. Stir through the chopped hardboiled egg. Spoon the mixture evenly into each potato skin and smooth down the mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted and is golden and bubbling.
$7.90 for eight large pieces