Oh my goodness, what the heck am I talking about? Three cooks in the kitchen? Hardly! I’m talking about a potato skin that has been cooked three times. Yep, count ’em, three times.
Whenever Kiddo, Hubby and I go out to dinner at places like Texas Roadhouse or Applebees or similar establishment, we tend to order either some sort of an onion appetizer or Potato Skins. And while we all want that last skin on the platter, we spend at least five minutes telling one another “it’s okay, you take it.” That got me to wonder, why don’t we have potato skins more often? Sure, there’s some work involved, but oh so worth it. That’s when I had to give this recipe from Betty Crocker a try. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be done in stages. The potatoes are actually cooked three times, once in the microwave, once in a fryer and finally baked to perfection. You could actually zap them in the microwave in the morning, give them a fry in the afternoon and bake them the following day as part of a family game night treat or the start of an awesome steak dinner.
Three-Cooks Two-Cheese Bacon Potato Skins
8 slices Bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 large Baking Potatoes (about 2 lb)
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
Vegetable oil for deep frying
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Large Green Onions
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
Stack bacon slices together and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Separate pieces and place in a 10-inch skillet. Cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp; drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, gently scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Pierce potatoes to allow steam to escape. Place on microwavable paper towels. Arrange in spoke pattern with narrow ends in center. This will allow the potatoes to “bake” evenly. Microwave 12 to 14 minutes, turning once, until tender. Cover; let stand 5 minutes. (That’s the first cook).
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut lengthwise in halves; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving ¼-inch shells. Save potato pulp for another use.
In small bowl, mix oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika, cheese and pepper. Brush mixture over skins.
In deep fryer or 3-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil to 365 degrees. Fry in batches for 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (That’s the second cook)
Make Ahead tip: Potatoes can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before continuing to the next step. One hour before serving allow potatoes to come to room temperature.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray 13-inch by 9-inch (3 quart) glass baking dish.
Place potato skins, skin side up, in baking dish. Bake 8 minutes. Turn potato skins over and fill with cheese and bacon.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. While the potatoes are baking, slice the green onions and set aside.
Remove potatoes from the oven. Top with sour cream and green onions. Serve and enjoy potato skins that have been cooked three times.