Super Bowl snacking: loaded potato skins

potatoIf you’re a football fan, the Super Bowl is a big deal. You watched the play offs, you’ve chosen your side and you’re ready for the big game. All you need to make your viewing party complete are some great snacks. Grab the chips and soda along with your other favorites, and while you’re at it, pick up a couple of other simple ingredients to make tasty loaded potato skins that you and your guests will enjoy regardless of the outcome of the game.

These simple loaded potato skins can easily be altered to be non-dairy (skip the dairy ingredients altogether, or substitute vegan cheese) or vegetarian, and are naturally gluten free. Plus, with a little of everything included, these are a hearty snack that will keep you going no matter how much overtime the game goes into.

The shopping list

Your must haves include medium sized potatoes, your favorite shredded cheese (cheddar is a great choice) and pre-cooked bacon. If you don’t have butter or olive oil spray, salt and pepper, go ahead and pick those up too. You now have your basic ingredients. You can also pick up sour cream to dab on top, some broccoli florets to melt under the cheese or some green onions or chives to dice and throw on top.

Baking your potatoes

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and make sure a rack in centered. Using a fork, poke several holes in the appropriate number of potatoes, then place them on a baking pan or directly on the rack and let them bake for about 50 minutes. They’re ready when a fork pierces easily.

Remove your hot potatoes from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes, or until you can handle them comfortably.

The secret to crispy skins

Once your potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the centers with a spoon – keep those centers for mashed potatoes or potato soup later. Brush both sides of each with butter or spray with your olive oil spray, then sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper to your taste.

Place spaced out on a baking pan skin side down and broil for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the skin. If you don’t have time or don’t feel like bothering, just move on to the filling step – your skins will still crisp a little more when they go back into the oven.

Loading your potato skins

Now is the fun part. Flip over each skin and fill evenly with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon (also add any vegetables or other ingredients you wanted in with the cheese). Place your skins back in the broiler for 4-5 minutes, until your cheese is nicely melted. Remove and top with sour cream, green onions or chives, or whatever else you prefer, and you’re ready to serve!

Don’t be afraid to get creative. These crispy potato skins can be filled with your favorite chili, or bake an egg and some cheese inside.

The final step is to sit down and enjoy the game, along with these potato skins you can proudly tell your guests you made yourself! Now, may the best team win (you know…your team)!

Frank Failla is a Long Island realtor based in Merrick and serving much of Long Island. To learn more about Frank or exciting Long Island properties, visit online at frankfaillahomesli.com.

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