Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Loaded Potato Skins for Super Bowl Sunday

[donotprint]I once took my knitting to a Super Bowl get-together at a neighbor’s house. After that, our Super Bowl invitations seemed to taper off. Back then, I was more interested in knitting than watching a football game.

Loaded Potato Skins. Photo by Tom Hirschfeld.

Loaded Potato Skins. Photo by Jason Wyche.

Today, I’m still not an avid football fan, but if our hometown Denver Broncos are playing (as they were in 2016) then my interest heightens.

It’s All About the Food

Instead, I watch the Super Bowl for the ads.  And the food. This year I have a hankering for Loaded Potato Skins.

Loaded Potato Skins are a favorite at our house, regardless of the occasion. Even the grandkids love them and they especially like doing the “loading” (filling the crispy potato skins with as much of their favorite fillings as possible—that usually means lots of bacon and cheese!).

Loaded Potato Skins are Very Versatile

The nice thing about potato skins is that though they are small, they are quite filling. If you eat enough of them, they can almost be a meal in themselves. And, you can provide a variety of toppings that meet your guests’ special diet needs so you don’t have to prepare multiple versions of the same dish to suit everyone.

For example, for my lactose-friends I use Green Valley sour cream or a sour cream alternative such as Tofutti. For the cheese, use one of the many cheddar-cheese alternatives on the market (e.g., So Delicious, Daiya). All of them melt fairly well (much better than some of the older versions we once used).

For vegetarians, omit the traditional bacon and use vegetarian bacon (many brands at your supermarket).  Or, vegetarian versions of sausage work nicely too.

May the best team win! [/donotprint]

Loaded Potato Skins

Excerpted from 100 BEST QUICK GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES © 2014 by Carol Fenster.


Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

This recipe is a fantastic crowd-pleaser but is quicker by roasting the potatoes in advance (perhaps when making tonight’s dinner?) and keeping cooked bacon strips in the freezer. I prefer smaller russets, about 3 -inches long, which gives you more crispy skin in proportion to the soft interior. If you can’t find them, cut large, baked russets into quarters and scoop a hole in the flesh to hold the fillings.

8              small (3-inch) cooked russet potatoes (about 2 [1/4] pounds), at room temperature

2              tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8              ounces (about 1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese or cheese alternative

4              cooked bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

1/2         cup sour cream or sour cream alternative

2              green onions, including green tops, sliced thinly sliced

[1] Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to broil. Slice each cooked potato in half lengthwise (or cut into quarters if using large russets). Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, leaving about [1/4] -inch of flesh along the skin. (Use the flesh for another use.) Brush both sides of the potatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the potato skins, cut -side down, on a rimmed baking sheet.

[2] Broil until the skins start to crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes (watch closely so they don’t burn). Flip the skins over and broil until the top edges just start to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the cheese evenly in the potato skins.

[3] Return the potato skins to the oven and broil just until the cheese starts to melt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the potato skins from the oven and sprinkle with the bacon. Dot each with 1 1/2 teaspoons of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings; 2 skins (halves) each

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Broiling time: 8 to 12 minutes

Per serving: 330 calories; 14g protein; 20g total fat; 2g fiber; 23g carbohydrates; 43mg cholesterol; 414mg sodium